A student organization filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday claiming Tennessee’s voter identification law violates the rights of college students by not allowing them to use school IDs to vote. The lawsuit comes after a four-year debate, protests and multiple failed attempts in the Tennessee General Assembly to allow use of the identification. “For four years, the Tennessee General Assembly has rejected every attempt to add college student IDs to the voter ID list, systematically shutting young voters out of the political process just as they become eligible to vote,” Jon Sherman, a staff attorney for the Fair Elections Legal Network, said in a statement. The Fair Elections Legal Network, a national voting rights organization, and Nashville law firm Barrett Johnston Martin & Garrison, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Nashville Student Organizing Committee, a student-run social justice and civil rights organization.
Tennessee’s strict voter ID law has received staunch support, and lawmakers have argued that college IDs are easier to fake and harder to verify as authentic.
“More than anything, the lack of uniformity between school IDs from across the state would create a tough situation for poll workers,”Cade Cothren, a spokesman for the House Republican Caucus, told The Tennessean.
He said specialized schools, such as beauty academies and music institutes, would only add to the variation between public and private colleges.
“By allowing only government-issued photo IDs to be accepted, we can help ensure the sanctity of the ballot box,” Cothren said.
Full Article: Students sue over Tennessee voter ID law.