News & Resources

Intentions of Tennessee's photo ID law questioned

Nov 18, 2011 Karen Umpierre

A 91-year old woman's plight has stirred up debate about Tennessee's voter ID verification law, the Daily News Journal reports. According to state law, all voters must show a valid photo ID in order to vote, beginning January 1. Murfreesboro senator Bill Ketron, one of the backers of the law, contends that it "preserves the purity" of the ballot box and is necessary since voter fraud ran rampant during the election of senator Ophelia Ford four years ago. However, Virginia Lasater didn't have a photo ID on her license. In order to comply with the law, she was forced to wait in line at the Murfreesboro driver's license testing center with what her son, Richard, estimated to be at least 100 people. Lasater was unable to handle the wait, and with no chairs in sight, never obtained her ID because she couldn't stand for such a long period of time. "It really makes me about halfway mad because I know what's going on," Lasater told the media outlet. She added that she's "absolutely" sure the photo ID law is a Republican strategy to prevent senior citizens from voting. USA Today notes that Democratic leaders recently announced their intentions to fight the law and filed legislation for a repeal.