Responding to last week’s ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court unanimously upholding the state’s Voter ID law, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen on Wednesday introduced legislation to circumvent its disenfranchising effects. The 2011 Voter ID law requires voters to present government-issued photographic identification in order to cast ballots in state or federal elections. In response to the law, the City of Memphis Library began issuing photo IDs, but voters Daphne Turner-Golden and Sullistine Bell were prevented from using their library cards in the August 2012 primary elections, and subsequently filed suit. In April of this year, after an appeals court ruled the library cards were valid IDs, the state legislature specifically excluded municipal library card identification as valid for voting.
… Cohen, a Memphis Democrat, would amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to expand access to photo identification in states requiring it for voting by ensuring that state and federal offices that offer assistance inform potential voters of the requirement and offer them the opportunity to obtain it free of charge.
In a statement, Cohen said the entire purpose of such photo ID requirements is to suppress the votes of minorities and the elderly since “little evidence of voter fraud exists.”