Nearly 180 election officials from Middle Tennessee counties attended training seminars Thursday at Henry Horton State Park and learned what to do if someone wants to vote without a government identification card showing their photograph. Even though Tennessee has a recently enacted law requiring voters to identify themselves with a photo ID card, Marshall County Election Commission Chairman Don Wright says, “Some people just walk up and say they want to vote. Well, we don’t do that anymore.
“We’re not trying to keep people from voting,” Wright said. “We just don’t want them voting in Marshall County and Pulaski or Columbia.” Thursday’s seminars were presented by the Tennessee Association of County Election Officers. TACEO spokesmen provided tips on how to serve the public and help people comply with the law.
People without a photo ID card are not to be told that they can’t vote, Wright explained. Rather, they’ll be shown how they can cast a ballot that will be counted if they return within two working days with a photo ID. The election commission chairman acknowledged the likelihood of some voters who will make it known that they’re unhappy with the system.
To avoid that, Wright said, “We’re going to have town meetings to train people on how to treat people who don’t have a picture ID.” Such town meetings, while ostensibly established for the people who serve as poll workers for the county election office, would be subject to the open meetings law, and therefore any Tennessee citizen may attend.