The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security today announced that it will open eight of its driver service centers, including the one in Putnam County on the first Saturday of October and November to give citizens additional opportunities to obtain photo identification in order to vote in the upcoming state and federal general election. The centers were chosen based on the size of the populations they serve and the response from citizens to centers that were opened on Saturdays before the primary election.
The Cookeville Center is located at 4600 Jefferson Avenue
A new state law effective this year requires citizens to present a federal or state-issued photo ID to vote at the polls. The law also requires the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to issue photo IDs for voting purposes at no charge.
As of September 6, 2012, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security had issued 22,355 photo IDs for voting purposes. The vast majority (20,967) of those issued were non-photo driver licenses converted into photo driver licenses, while 1,388 were original photo identification cards.
"Any citizen who needs a photo ID for voting purposes may obtain one at no charge by visiting any of our 51 driver service centers during normal business hours. As an added service, we are again opening certain centers for special Saturday hours to make sure everyone has an opportunity to get a photo ID," Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.
"Once again, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is demonstrating its strong commitment to helping Tennesseans get the proper identification needed to vote. We are pleased to continue to partner with Commissioner Gibbons and his colleagues in their efforts to encourage civic participation," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said.
The eight driver service centers will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 6 and Saturday, November 3. The centers will issue voter photo IDs and convert non-photo driver licenses into photo driver licenses only. No other services will be available during these special hours.
To minimize the possibility of wait times during Saturday hours, groups or organizations planning to make a group visit to a driver service center should schedule an appointment by calling Melissa Long at 865-712-4908 (east Tennessee contact) or Rochelle Bryant at 931-242-7282 (west Tennessee contact).
For more information on the new voter photo ID law, including acceptable forms of photo identification and documents needed to obtain a photo ID for voting purposes, please visit the Department of Safety and Homeland Security's website at www.tn.gov/safety