April 29, 2008
Efforts to require photo ID to protect Tennessee
elections from voter fraud validated by Supreme Court decision says Republican
(NASHVILLE, TN), April 29, 2008 — Senate State and Local Government Committee Chairman Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Representative Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville) said today that yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision validates their efforts to make sure voters in Tennessee have the proper identification to guard against fraud and assure only U.S. citizens vote. The two Middle Tennessee Republicans have sponsored legislation requiring proper identification for past several years. The legislation has been approved in the State Senate, but has failed in the House of Representatives, primarily along party lines.
“The highest court in our land has now ruled that states can require voters to produce photo identification,” said Senator Ketron. “We have a right to protect our state from voter fraud and abuse. It is time for Tennessee to pass this legislation.”
The court ruling came after a state law in Indiana was challenged which required identification. If passed, Tennessee would join Indiana and twenty-four other states to require some form of identification. Ketron and Maggart believe that the decision will boost the efforts of other states, like Tennessee, to adopt their own measures.
In the 6-3 decision Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, “Indiana has a valid interest in protecting the integrity and reliability of the electoral process.” The high court decision contended that evidence of voters being inconvenienced by the law’s requirements is scant, as an overwhelming majority of voters use driver’s license as their identification.
”I will continue my efforts to pass this legislation in the House of Representatives,” said Maggart. “There has never been any question in my mind regarding the constitutionality of this bill. I am pleased that our efforts have been validated by this decision. It makes it clear to everyone that Tennessee has the right to make sure that those voting are legitimately casting their votes, and are U.S. citizens.”
HB 196 Killed in Elections Subcommittee
Am #17 to SB 407 Killed on House Floor
Am #2 to SB 925 Killed on House Floor 4/26/07
227 / HB 938 Passed in Senate / sent to TACIR in House