Local election commissions and advocacy groups are rolling out campaigns to educate people about a new Tennessee law that requires registered voters to present photo identification at the polls. Election commissioners say they worry that people don’t know or understand the new requirements. Senior and minority groups are concerned that the law, which will go into effect Jan. 1, creates voting “hurdles” for groups less likely to have photo IDs, including seniors, minorities and young voters.
The law, which lawmakers say was passed to reduce voter fraud, provides a mechanism for free photo IDs for people who do not have them. Qualified photo IDs include Tennessee driver’s licenses, gun permits with photos, any other state-issued ID except for student IDs issued by state universities, and federal government-issued IDs such as passports and military IDs.
“People don’t realize this is a law; people are angry,” said Hamilton County Election Administrator Charlotte Mullis-Morgan. “Nobody can tell me there was voter fraud in Hamilton County.”
Mullis-Morgan said her goal is to make sure voters without photo IDs know how to get one free from the state, and that voters who already have photo IDs remember to bring them on election day.
She said she began spreading information about the new law early so voters can be fully prepared in time for the March primaries.
“The biggest concern that my commission has is the elderly,” said Fran Green, Bradley County election administrator. “A lot of older people don’t have photos on their driver’s license because they don’t have to.”
Tennessee allows people 60 and older to choose a nonphoto driver’s license, which will not be sufficient to cast a ballot.
Full Article: Groups prepare for voter ID law | timesfreepress.com.