Department of Safety & Homeland Security Encourages Voters to Obtain Photo ID before March 6 Primary ElectionsMonday, February 27, 2012 | 01:43 pm
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is encouraging voters this week to obtain photo IDs for voting purposes at no cost before the Tennessee Presidential Primary elections on March 6. The department will open certain driver service centers across the state this Saturday for voter photo identification issuance only. March 3 will be the last opportunity for registered voters to take advantage of this special Saturday service.
Additionally, March 12 will be the final day the Department of Safety & Homeland Security’s county clerk partners will issue voter photo IDs at no cost.
Voters may continue to visit any of the state’s 50 driver service centers across Tennessee during normal business hours to obtain photo IDs for voting purposes at no cost after these special services end.
“We have made great efforts over the past several months to make photo IDs accessible to registered voters who need them. I urge anyone still needing a photo ID for voting purposes to take advantage of our final Saturday service this weekend or visit one of the participating county clerk offices before Election Day. We want voters to be prepared when they head to the polls on March 6,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.
A new state law 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. Since July 1, 2011, the department has issued 17,067 photo IDs for voting purposes. The vast majority (16,199) were non-photo driver licenses converted into photo driver licenses, while 868 were original photo identification cards.
“The Department of Safety & Homeland Security has gone the extra mile to provide photo IDs for Tennesseans who need them by offering Saturday hours and partnering with county clerks across the state. I hope Tennesseans who don’t have valid IDs will take advantage of the opportunity to get IDs made free of charge,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Also, I encourage people who are unsure whether they already have valid IDs to visit www.GoVoteTN.com or call toll free 1-877-850-4959.”
The driver service centers scheduled to be open this Saturday, March 3 are located 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.
The centers will be open normal business hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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.
Clerks in the following counties have partnered with the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to offer photo IDs at no cost through March 12: Anderson, Benton, Campbell, Chester, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Davidson, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Houston, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lake, Marshall, McMinn, Monroe, Morgan, Polk, Putnam, Scott, Sequatchie, Shelby, Unicoi, and Union.
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.