For decades, proponents of instituting a Tennessee photo voter ID law insisted graveyards provided unscrupulous politicians with the opportunity to commit voter fraud via the unwitting cooperation of the "living dead."
The problem was deemed so "deadly" serious, a determined Shelby County Election Commission purged its voter rolls of 5,000 deceased voters in 2008. A Republican-dominated Tennessee General Assembly eventually used that particular "fear factor" as motivation for passage of the photo voter ID law three years later.
Democrats have since argued the law isn't about securing election integrity instead it's a devious ploy to disenfranchise voting minorities, students and the elderly.
"If they're verifying the photo to the actual individual. You coming in shades and caps. You're not verifying the picture to the person it could be a problem," says early voter Erica Anderson.
"I been voting for years and I never had to have a voter ID," added early voter Kevin Howard. "But, they didn't ask me for it this time. I just gave them my driver's license. People that I know have voted and they have to have voter ID."
It's keeping the voting booth open for those possibly disenfranchised voters that is still being championed by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton. As he awaited the outcome of the city's latest challenge of the state voter ID law before the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Wharton clarified his stance.
"I agree with the voters you should have to identify yourself," Mr. Wharton said. "Where my disagreement comes in is why such a restricted definition of what ID is."
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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