published Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Tennessee Senate OKs state university students using their IDs for photo/voting requirements

NASHVILLE — State college and university students will be able to present their student identification cards to satisfy photo-voting requirements under legislation approved today by the Senate.

The bill, which passed 21-8, now goes to the House.

Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron’s bill also is aimed at ending a lawsuit pending before the state Supreme Court over the city of Memphis allowing public library-issued photo ID cards to vote.

Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, whose district includes the University of Tennessee, opposed making college IDs for voting purposes.

“A college ID is a very easy thing to forge,” Campfield said, charging the bill guts Ketron’s intent in passing the original 2011 photo-ID law.

But Ketron said the change is in keeping with the Indiana law on which he modeled his bill. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s law, he said, and he wants the Tennessee law as close to the Hoosier State’s as possible.

Majority Republicans easily quashed Democrats’ efforts to amend the bill and allow same-day voter registration for holders of state Safety Department driver licenses, which have photos.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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