Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. gave a lawyer’s answer when asked what would happen if the Tennessee Legislature might amend the state law requiring a photo voter ID in light of the Thursday, Oct. 25, Tennessee Court of Appeals ruling on the matter. The court upheld the law but also ruled that the city of Memphis photo library cards are a valid form of ID under that law. Wharton was specifically asked what the city’s reaction would be if legislators return to Nashville in January and amend the law to specifically prohibit photo library cards.
“In the judicial system we don’t answer hypothetical questions. We would just have to deal with it,” Wharton said. “I would hope that the opinion would be read closely.” But there are enough hypotheticals in what amounted to a split decision on the more general issue of voter identification laws to suggest Thursday’s ruling wasn’t the end of the political cycle for the issue.
The day after the ruling Shelby County Election Commission officials had instructed poll workers to give voters presenting photo library cards at early voting a provisional ballot. State election officials in Nashville were pursuing a stay at the Tennessee Supreme Court Friday to stop enforcement of the appeals court order.
Wharton said the city is still weighing whether to seek an appeal of the part of the ruling in which the court ruled the 2011 law is constitutional and does not discourage voting. “I’ll leave that to the lawyers,” he said. “We ended up where we wanted to be. But I am going to leave that question to the lawyers. … We worked within the law.”
Full Article: Voter ID Law Controversy Could Continue – Memphis Daily News.