The Green Party of Tennessee has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to throw out Tennessee’s voter ID law, calling it unconstitutional and unfair to minority voters. Alan Woodruff, an attorney in Gray, Tenn., who has represented the Green Party in previous lawsuits, said he filed the complaint Monday morning in the Eastern District of Tennessee. It names Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins as defendants. “There is no justification for having the photo ID requirement, as there is no such thing as voter fraud,” said Woodruff, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year as the Democratic nominee in the 1st Congressional District and might run again in 2014. “It’s overly burdensome. It affects minorities and the progressive-leaning voter more than the typical Republican conservative, and it was intended to.”
Blake Fontenay, a spokesman for Hargett and Goins, said he had not seen the lawsuit Monday afternoon and was unable to comment.
The General Assembly passed the voter identification law in 2011, requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls. It took effect in January 2012. Republicans say the law discourages voter fraud, which Democrats describe as extremely rare.
The Tennessee Court of Appeals upheld the new requirement in a state lawsuit last fall. It ruled that the state legislature has the right to pass laws that protect “the purity of the ballot box” and that asking for photo ID at the polls does not add a new requirement to voting.