The General Assembly amended Tennessee’s voter photo identification law during its recently-concluded legislative session. Amendments sponsored by Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet) seek to clarify and strengthen the law that was successfully implemented during the 2012 election cycle.
Voters may no longer use photo IDs issued by other states as acceptable forms of identification when voting in person. This change mirrors similar laws in other states, including Indiana. Indiana’s photo ID law has been upheld by the United States Supreme Court.
The amendments also clarify the General Assembly’s original intent in passing the law by explicitly excluding photo IDs issued by counties and municipalities. These changes took effect when the amended law was signed by Governor Bill Haslam this week.
“The General Assembly continues to enact laws that protect the integrity of the ballot box,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I am grateful that our legislators continue to seek out policies to ensure that only eligible voters may cast their ballots in Tennessee.”
“Our poll workers will be ready to implement these changes in our next election,” said Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley.
Examples of acceptable forms of identification, whether current or expired, include Tennessee driver licenses, U.S. passports, Department of Safety photo ID cards, U.S. military photo IDs, and other photo IDs issued by the federal or Tennessee state governments. Voters without one of these forms of identification may obtain free photo IDs for voting at Tennessee Department of Safety driver service centers.