Tennesseans between 60 and 65 would be added to those who can vote absentee without a doctor’s excuse under a bill passed today in the state House.
Tennessee now requires all voters to show a picture ID when they cast a ballot. But thousands of older Tennesseans have driver’s licenses without photos.
While they’re eligible for free photo IDs, Representative Debra Maggart of Hendersonville wants to make it easier for senior citizens to vote by mail.
Representative Joey Hensley, a Republican from Hohenwald, connects the dots.
So anyone can vote absentee which means, if they’re voting absentee, they don’t have to have a photo ID….
Democrats have accused the Republican majority for enacting the Voter ID law to hold down votes from older and poorer demographics. The absentee-voting fix doesn’t necessarily meet all their objections.
Read the bill here.
The legislature’s Fiscal Review staff says there are about 305,000 active voters between the ages of 60 and 65, and 13,000 of them could be expected to mail in their votes in a high profile election in August or November.
That estimate is based on the behavior of Tennesseans 65-69 who already have the absentee-voting option.
They’ve shown their math in this Fiscal Note.