published Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Officials explain photo ID for voters

  • photo
    Charlotte Mullis-Morgan, elections administrator for Hamilton County
    Photo by Tim Barber /Chattanooga Times Free Press.


Tennessee driver's license with photo

• U.S. Passport

• Department of Safety photo ID card

• Photo ID issued by federal or state government

• Employee ID from U.S. Department of Energy

• U.S. Military photo ID

• State issued handgun carry permit with your photo


• College-issued student ID

• Photo not issued by the federal or state government

Source: Hamilton County Election Commission

The Hamilton County Election Commission and state officials are attempting to clarify the new photo voter ID requirements.

Election Commission Administrator Charlotte Mullis-Morgan said her office has received dozens of calls in recent weeks about acceptable forms of ID and how voters can get one if they don't already have one.

Mullis-Morgan also has been working with state officials to make the process smoother at the election commission and reduce wait times at local driver safety centers, she said.

"People just go in and take a ticket," Mullis-Morgan said. "They don't have to wait three or four hours, the normal wait is about an hour."

Acceptable forms of ID include a Tennessee driver's license with photo, a U.S. passport, Department of Safety photo ID card, photo ID issued by the state or federal government, a U.S. Department of Energy employee ID, U.S. military ID or state-issued handgun carry permit with photo.

Many elderly residents who have a driver's license without a photo, which is an option for those 60 and older in Tennessee, have been confused about the law.

All they have to do is show up with their driver's license to have a photo added for free.

"The only time anybody has to take a birth certificate or anything like that is if they are just moving into Tennessee or have never had a driver's license issued to them," Mullis-Morgan said. "If they've had a driver's license the last 10 years or anything, they just need a voter registration card."

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about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

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