MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld an earlier court decision to accept Memphis library cards as acceptable voter identification, at least for the November 6 election until the case goes back to court.
In an order filed November 1, the court stated they will hear an appeal filed by Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins, but will still allow the library cards to be used for voter identification on the state's final day of early voting and on Election Day. "The right to vote has profound constitutional significance," the order states.
Memphis City Attorney, Herman Morris, said of the Supreme Court's decision, "It’s a great victory for the voters of the City of Memphis. I applaud Mayor Wharton for standing up for the citizens and voters in Memphis and seeing this through to its successful resolution before the highest court in the State of Tennessee."
Goins also released the following statement:
We are pleased that the Tennessee Supreme Court has chosen to hear our appeal regarding the use of Memphis city library cards to verify voters’ identities under the state’s photo identification law. We continue to believe the General Assembly clearly intended for only state- or federally-issued photo IDs to be valid for the purposes of identifying voters and remain confident the Supreme Court will confirm our interpretation. Nonetheless, per the Supreme Court’s order, we have advised the Shelby Election Commission to accept the city-issued library cards from Memphis for the Nov. 6 election in Shelby County. For 94 out of 95 Tennessee counties, today’s order from the court will have no impact: State- or federally-issued photo IDs are the only forms of identification that will be accepted. In Shelby County only, the city-issued library photo ID cards will also be accepted in accordance with the court’s directive.