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Tennessee court rejects student ID bill

A proposed bill that would enable student IDs issued by Tennessee state colleges and universities to double at voting credentials has failed to pass.

According to a report from TriCities.com, the House’s version of the bill — which does not allow the student IDs to double as voting credentials — was supported by a count of 23 to 7. Murfreesboro Republican Senator Bill Ketron, a proponent of the bill, has not given up hope and in fact plans to press on with the idea.

The version of the bill that passed Thursday states that library cards — also included in the initial bill — would be eliminated as valid voter IDs as well.

The library card is perhaps the more contentious of the two proposed credentials as the city of Memphis, along with two of its residents, sued the state of Tennessee last year after election officials refused to accept the residents’ city-issued photo library card as voter identification.

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has since upheld the state voter ID law as constitutional but has made accommodations for Memphis residents, allowing them to use the photo library card as a voting credential until a final decision is made. The Supreme Court also ruled last year that the library cards could be used while the court was hearing the case.

The library card case is still pending in Tennessee’s highest court.

Proponents of the library card and student ID bill maintain that the photo ID has nothing to do with voter registration, rather the photo IDs are meant to validate that a voter is who they are registered to be.

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