Tennessee State Seal
Secretary Hargett's Statement Regarding Photo ID Lawsuit
(Published: July 25, 2012)

On Tuesday, a lawsuit was filed challenging the application of the state’s photo identification law for voters.

Today, a judge denied a temporary restraining order in that lawsuit. The net effect of the judge’s decision is that the City of Memphis library cards will not be accepted at the polls as valid state photo ID for voting purposes. The plaintiffs argued a library card with a photo issued by the City of Memphis library was a state photo ID.

“The legislature clearly intended that only state or federal photo IDs can be used, which prevents us from accepting county or city IDs,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Our Division of Elections remains ready to assist any voter with questions about how they may obtain a free photo ID for voting from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.”

A voter who does not present a state or federally-issued photo ID at the polls will not be turned away, but will receive a provisional ballot. However, the voter will need to return to the local election commission office within two business days after the election and present a state or federally-issued photo ID in order for the provisional ballot to be counted.

Examples of acceptable forms of ID, whether current or expired, include driver licenses, U.S. passports, Department of Safety photo ID cards, U.S. military photo IDs and other state or federal government photo ID cards. College student IDs are not acceptable. 

For more information, please visit www.GoVoteTN.com or call the Division of Elections toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.