Department of Safety & Homeland Security Issues More than 6,500 Voter Photo IDs Since July 1
Monday, November 28, 2011 | 07:45am
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security announced Monday that during the month of November it had more than doubled the number of photo identifications issued for voting purposes since the end of October. As of November 28, the department had issued 6,566 photo IDs for voting purposes, compared to the 2,385 issued as of October 31. A new state law will require a federal or state-issued photo ID to vote starting in 2012. The law also requires the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to issue photo IDs for voting purposes at no charge.
The number of photo IDs issued for voting purposes includes original photo identification cards (for voters who had never been issued a driver license or photo ID and were not already in the Department’s database) and non-photo driver licenses converted into photo driver licenses. (Drivers in Tennessee age 60 and older may opt to carry a non-photo driver license.)
“I am encouraged by the increase in the number of photo IDs issued for voting purposes. We are making a great effort to get the word out about the new law and the options voters have to obtain photo IDs, if needed. I urge any voter who needs a photo ID to obtain one from the department as soon as possible,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.
For citizens who need a photo ID for voting purposes, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security is opening 19 driver service centers this Saturday, December 3, and on the first Saturday of each month through March for the purpose of issuing voter photo IDs only. The centers will be open normal business hours, from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Driver service centers are open on the first Saturday of each month in the following counties: Davidson (Centennial Blvd. and Hart Lane), Hamilton (both locations), Knox (both locations), Shelby (East Shelby Drive and Summer Avenue), Sullivan, Sumner, Rutherford, Washington, Williamson, Montgomery, Blount, Bradley, Putnam, Greene, and Carter.
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 Linda Cone at 731-225-0924 or Wanda Adams at 615-251-5300.
In addition, 30 county clerks’ offices across the state are converting non-photo driver licenses to photo driver licenses for voters who need them free of charge.
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.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.