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Photo ID now required to vote
Dennis Stanley w sm
The Tennessee General Assembly recently passed a law to make the elections process more secure.Beginning in 2012, voters must present identification bearing their names and photographs in order to vote, just as if they were boarding an airplane or cashing a check.The process is simple: Voters who do not have valid photo IDs may obtain free photo IDs from any participating Department of Safety driver service center across the state.Voters over the age of 60 who have driver’s licenses without photos and no other form of valid photo IDs may have their photos added to their licenses free of charge.County election commissions are making efforts now to get the message out about the changes well in advance of the 2012 elections.“Our staff is prepared to help voters learn about new requirements, and, if necessary, get a photo ID,” said Dennis Stanley, DeKalb County Administrator of Elections. “We will do our best to ensure every voter is informed in plenty of time.”Examples of acceptable photo IDs, even if expired, include: a Tennessee driver’s license with a photo, a United States passport, a Department of Safety photo ID, a United States military photo ID, a state-issued handgun carry permit, or any other photo ID issued by the federal or state government, except student IDs.“Local election administrators are working hard to prepare voters and poll workers,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I am confident this law will be beneficial and can be implemented smoothly.”Some citizens will be exempt from the new law, including: absentee voters, residents of nursing homes or assisted living centers, people who are hospitalized, people who have religious objections to being photographed and those who are unable to pay for photo IDs.

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