With less than a week before the Nov. 6 election, the state’s highest court has agreed to hear an appeal from the state challenging a lower court’s ruling on Tennessee’s voter ID law.
The court also ordered the state to require election officials in Shelby County give regular ballots to voters using library IDs to prove their identity to vote, saying “the right to vote has profound constitutional significance.”
The state was previously requiring voters there to cast votes with provisional ballots which may or may not be counted.
State officials in the Secretary of State’s office appealed the last week’s Court of Appeals ruling that the state must accept library ID cards with photos as adequate state-issued ID because the Memphis Public Library is a state entity.
“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,” said Mark Goins, the state elections coordinator.
A typical case before the Supreme Court would take three months to hand down, according to a court spokeswoman, making it unlikely the court will both hear and rule on the case prior to Tuesday’s election.
“I’m not saying it’s impossible,” said Michele Wojciechowski. “If we’re looking at a matter of three days before election day, that will put it in perspective for you.”