Senate Judiciary Chairman Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) have filed legislation to make sure voters in Tennessee have the photo identification to guard against fraud and assure only U.S. citizens vote.
The bill allows for a number of various forms of photo identification to be used including a driver’s license, military identification, a valid passport, various forms of government employee identification cards, and any federal and state-issued identification cards that contain photographs of the voter.
“The courts have upheld the rights of states to protect the integrity of our elections through photo identification,” said Senator Beavers. “We have a right to protect our state from voter fraud and abuse. It is time for Tennessee to pass this legislation.”
According the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven states specify that voters must show photo identification, including Georgia, Florida, and Louisiana. In no state is a voter who cannot produce identification turned away from the polls. All states have some sort of recourse for voters without identification to cast a vote or provide for a provisional ballot. The bill filed by Beavers and Weaver, SB 3, provides for a provisional ballot which would only be counted if the central provisional ballot counting board is able to verify current and valid identification of the voter.
“This legislation makes it clear to everyone that Tennessee has the right to make sure that those voting are legitimately casting their votes, and are U.S. citizens,” echoed Representative Weaver. “I look forward to moving this bill forward in the 2009 legislative session.“