WJLE is providing an opportunity for you to learn more about the new law requiring voters to show a valid photo ID at the polls beginning with the March 6 DeKalb County Democratic Primary and the Tennessee Presidential Preference Primaries. The new law takes effect January 1, 2012.
State Senator Mae Beavers, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, DeKalb County Election Commission Chairperson Walteen Parker, and DeKalb County Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley will be appearing on WJLE Wednesday morning, December 21 at 8:05 a.m. to explain provisions of the new law. Parker and Stanley will also be discussing local redistricting based on the 2010 Census. LISTEN LIVE ON WJLE AM 1480/FM 101.7 or LIVE STREAMING AT WWW.WJLE.COM.
If you have a question you would like answered, please fax your question in advance of the program at 615-597-6025 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The major points of the law include:
•A voter is required to produce a federal or state government-issued photo ID before being allowed to vote. Some examples of a valid photo ID, even if expired, are a Tennessee driver license, U.S. passport, Department of Safety photo ID card, state or federal employee photo identification card, or a U.S. military photo ID. Student college IDs will not be accepted for voting purposes.
Free photo IDs may be obtained from any Department of Safety driver license testing station. Registered voters must sign an affidavit stating that the photo ID is for voting purposes, that they are a registered voter, and that they do not have any other valid government-issued photo ID. The Department of Safety will not issue a free photo ID if the person already has a valid government-issued photo ID
•Voters who are unable to produce a valid photo ID will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot, which is a paper ballot, at the polls. Voters casting a provisional ballot will have until two (2) business days after Election Day to return to the election commission office to show a valid photo ID.
•Voters with a religious objection to being photographed, or voters who are indigent and unable to obtain a photo ID without paying a fee - for example, the voter cannot pay for a birth certificate for proof of citizenship - may sign an oath affirming to the information and will be allowed to vote on the machines.
•Voters who vote absentee by mail, voters who are hospitalized, and voters who live in licensed nursing homes or assisted living centers and vote at the facilities are not required to show photo IDs. Registered voters over the age of 65 may request an absentee ballot and vote by mail.
"The goal of the radio program is to educate the public and prepare voters for the upcoming 2012 elections," Dennis Stanley, administrator of elections said. "We want voters to have plenty of time to obtain a valid photo ID if they do not already possess one. We encourage everyone to listen to the radio program Wednesday morning," said Stanley.