Wharton Administration celebrates library cards as an accepted voter ID

Wharton Administration celebrates library cards as an accepted voter ID

(WMC-TV) - Immediately after Thursday morning's ruling, the Shelby County Election Commission ordered its staff to comply and accept the Memphis library photo cards.

The Wharton Administration wanted to be some of the first voters to use their photo library cards.

"This is a great day of the city of Memphis," said Memphis City Attorney Herman Morris.

The Tennessee supreme court said Shelby County voters will be allowed to use Memphis library cards as photo identification in the upcoming November 6 election.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton caused a firestorm back in July when he told the public they could use the cards even after the state said they are not valid.

"This was born out of a desire to get your utilities connected," said Wharton.

After going back and forth in a Tennessee appeals court the Supreme court agreed to hear the appeal of Secretary of State Tre Hargett but declined to set it aside.

Wharton responded to the ruling outside the Shelby County Election Commission.

"We have never contended that we wanted to relax the verification standards, it was just one more place to get them," he said.

Using their Memphis library issued photo IDs, members of the Wharton administration waited in early voting lines to cast their ballot.

"This is not just for Memphis but a great day for the state as a whole," said Wharton.

Under the ruling all provisional ballots that were  cast with a Memphis library photo ID will be counted. If you still need a free state ID, the Department of Safety will open eight driver service centers Saturday with extended hours of  8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"Take your card, vote your conscience, and exercise your constitutional right," said Morris.

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