Library Photo ID Card
(Memphis) Mayor A C Wharton is talking about the city’s lost battle with the TN Supreme Court to continue accepting library cards with a photo ID on it to vote.
Mayor Wharton says the city stood up for poor, disenfranchised voters in this fight.
He also says the state now knows if they try to mess with Memphis, it’s ready to fight in court, “We’re glad we did it. It sends a signal that the right to vote is so precious any time there appears to be the slightest incursion on that right then we’re going to fight.”
Wharton says he doubts the city will appeal the Tennessee Supreme Court’s decision to the federal government.
Memphis spent $60,000 taxpayer dollars to install the photo library card program even though state law said only state and federally issued photo IDs were acceptable to vote.
In April, after the Memphis court appeal, the General Assembly passed a law saying those free cards cannot be used as a picture ID.
“Emphasis ought to be on getting more people to vote as oppose to reducing the number of people who vote,” said Wharton.
The Tennessee Supreme Court says the law doesn’t prevent anyone from voting because anyone who can’t afford it, can get a free Photo ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles. filltrustid
As for that $60,000 worth of equipment, Wharton says it was not a waste of money because people can use those photo ID library cards with MLGW to get their power turned back on and that could save lives.
He claims that was the original motivation for the equipment.
“If we save one more life because someone can go to light gas and water and have their utilities restored, then $60,000 is a mere pittance,” said Wharton.(Memphis) On the last day of early voting, there was a major ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court on the use of those Memphis library photo ID cards at the polls.
Voters such as Dee Porter and Marcus Hawkins voted today at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Midtown.
“I think we need as many people to come and vote as they can and it allows those people who don’t have a driver’s license to do that,” Porter said.
“I understand that the whole thing is to deter voter fraud and all that, but they’re moving a little bit too fast for this right now,” Hawkins said.
The high court ordered state and local election officials to allow the library cards for voting purposes for the November 6th elections. Scannable Fake IDs
A few city leaders even used their cards to vote and proclaimed the court ruling a victory for voters.
Herman Morris, the City of Memphis Attorney, was one of them, “This is a tremendous victory for the voters in the city of Memphis and I can’t tell you how much I applaud the mayor of the city of Memphis for taking this challenge and standing for the rights, the constitutional rights of the voters of Memphis.”
But will the library photo ID cards cause confusion at the polls?
Robert Myers, the chairman of the Shelby County Election Commission, said they’re prepared, “This is probably best considered a minor complication adding the Memphis library card to what people or what’s acceptable for voters to present is really a minor communication issue. I think we should be able to handle that and it really shouldn’t be a problem for voters.”
As for the future, the city isn’t ruling out the possibility of court challenges by the state, but right now city leaders say the cards can be used at the polls.
“We hope that the state will see the light and agree with us that it ought to be made easier and accessible for folks to cast their ballot instead of making it hard or cast shadows or intimidation over the process,” Morris said. filltrustid
State or Federally issued photo IDs are the only forms of identification that will be accepted in Tennessee’s 94 other counties.