Bill might halt city-issued voter IDs - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Bill might halt city-issued voter IDs

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Using library cards to vote went back and forth and back again before the 2012 elections. Before the last election.

Tennessee State Sen. Bill Ketron is looking to stop the use of the city-issued library cards altogether with bill to make the requirements to vote a little stricter.

The bill specifies that only state and federal identification can be used for voting. Identification issued by cities or counties would not be valid.

This would mean Memphis library cards would no longer be taken at the polls, an issue Mayor A C Wharton has fought in the courts and in the media.

In 2012 a court of appeals ruled that the cards could count as photo identification for voting. Mayor Wharton mentioned the court victory in Friday's State of the City address. But that victory could be overturned with the bill proposed to restrict photo IDs allowed for voting.

"I just resent any step that tends to close the door to open polling place and getting people to vote in a time we're always decrying that people don't participate," the mayor said. "Why do we want to erect any hurdle or anything that would make it more difficult to participate."

State Rep. Antonio Parkinson of Memphis says he's concerned about the bill, that it could be a move to restrict voter participation.

"I don't see where a library card, especially that's created by a city government, would hurt the state of Tennessee in regards to individuals voting," Rep. Parkinson said.

In an e-mail to FOX13 News, Sen. Ketron said this bill is in response to the court ruling that said the voter ID law did not spell out that local identification was not acceptable.

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