Seniors given options to cope with new voter ID law

A controversial new law has some worried that many senior citizens will not be able to vote next year.
A controversial new law has some worried that many senior citizens will not be able to vote next year.

(WMC-TV) - A controversial new law has some worried that many senior citizens will not be able to vote next year.

Tennessee Election Coordinator Mark Goins was in Memphis Wednesday spreading the word about a 2012 law that will require voters to present a photo ID at the polls.

"Most individuals have a photo ID that works, but for those who don't, we want to make sure they understand they need to go out and get a photo ID for voting purposes," Goins said.

According to Goins, the state of Tennessee is teaming up with the AARP to help protect the rights of the most vulnerable voters.

"There's some misinformation out there, and there's some correct information out there," Goins said.

Goins answered questions and explained that even expired IDs will be accepted.

He said if you don't bring a photo ID on election day you will be asked to vote on a provisional ballot.

"It's important to get the word out now," he added.

The Division of Elections' research found that over 125,000 Tennessee residents currently have an ID without a photo.

Acceptable forms of photo ID include a Tennessee drivers license with photo, US passport, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security ID, ANY photo ID issued by the federal or state government, a US Military photo ID or and a state-issued handgun carry permit card with a photo.

But some IDs will not be accepted. Those include college ID cards and credit and debit cards that include a photo.

Goins said FREE state photo IDs will be issued to anyone including the homeless or those who cannot afford to purchase an ID, but those free IDs have one exception according to state law.

"It only allows free photo IDs for those who will use that photo ID to vote," Goins said.

Wednesday night, another town hall meeting to discuss the affects of the new voter ID law will take place at the Board of Education at 6pm.

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