The Division of Elections is teaming up with the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL) to inform college students about the state’s new law that requires photo identification in order to vote.
Division staff members will conduct workshops about the new law with TISL representatives, who will then return to their respective college campuses to share information with fellow students and campus media.
TISL is an organization founded in 1966 which allows students at Tennessee colleges and universities to learn more about state government and express their views on various state issues. Students assume the roles of members of the General Assembly, Supreme Court, governor and other high-ranking state officials. They debate “mock” legislation, some of which has been the inspiration for actual laws later adopted by the real General Assembly.
“I am delighted that we are entering into this partnership,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett, himself a TISL alumnus, whose office oversees the Division of Elections. “Students who participate in TISL are our Tennessee’s future leaders, and they will be terrific ambassadors and help us get the word out to their peers. As with all other groups of Tennesseans, it is important that we communicate with young people about the requirements of the new law.”
"We plan on taking full advantage of this amazing opportunity to engage and equip more students to be involved in the political process,” said Matthew Meinel, a junior at Vanderbilt University and TISL’s current governor. “The new election laws are so important to election integrity in our state and we thank Secretary Hargett's office for reaching out to us to make sure college students are fully aware of it."
The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, requires voters to show state or federally issued photo IDs at the polls. Acceptable photo IDs include driver licenses, U.S. passports, military IDs, gun permits, state or federal employee IDs or other forms of photo IDs issued by federal or state governments - even if they are expired. However, college student IDs are not acceptable for voting purposes.
For questions about the law, visit http://www.tn.gov/sos/election/photoID.htm or call 1-877-850-4959.