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VOL. 36 | NO. 39 | Friday, September 28, 2012

Memphis appeals voter ID requirement ruling

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Memphis officials are appealing a Nashville judge's ruling that upheld the state requirement of photo identification for voting.

According to The Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/SsIbIJ), attorneys for the City of Memphis filed the request late Wednesday with the Tennessee Court of Appeals. It asks for an emergency appeal and lawyers hope for an expedited ruling.

The appeal was filed a week after Davidson County Chancery Court Judge Carol McCoy upheld the constitutionality of the new statute, saying voting procedures have evolved over the years and the legislature can enact laws that secure what she termed "the purity of the ballot box."

Memphis officials and two residents who are co-plaintiffs claim the new requirement is a violation of the state constitution, which states the requirements to vote are proof of legal age, residency and registration.

In its request to the appe llate court, the plaintiffs further asks that if the court does not strike down the photo provision, that judges rule separately on whether photo IDs provided by the public library system in Memphis can be used to vote.

In arguments before the lower court last week, the plaintiffs argued that standards for obtaining the library cards are more stringent than the requirements for obtaining several photo IDs issued by other states. Those out-of-state IDs, including Alabama boating licenses, are deemed acceptable for voting under the state law.

Early voting in the general election begins Oct. 17.