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Lions Club to give seniors ride to get photo ID
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The Lions Club is noted for its international efforts to prevent blindness, but members of the world’s largest community service organization offer a number of other community services.One new service McMinnville Lions Club is offering this year is free transportation to get the photo ID needed to vote in Tennessee this year for those who don’t have a way to get to the local Driver Service Center.“All they have to do is call the Election Commission office at 473-5834 and we’ll put them in contact with someone who’ll get them a ride out there if they need to get a photo ID made,” said club secretary Susie Davenport, who noted the club got the idea when election administrator Donna Smith came and spoke to the club about the new law.According to Davenport, once the club is contacted someone will go to the person’s home, pick them up and take them to the Driver Service Center and then take them back home once the ID is obtained. The service is being offered to Warren County residents only.The controversial law requiring a photo ID to vote in Tennessee has caused consternation among voter’s rights activists, who claim the legislation adversely affects some minority groups. According to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University of Law, studies show as many as 11 percent of eligible voters do not have government-issued photo ID, and that figure is even higher among seniors, people of color, people with disabilities, low-income voters and students.The center noted many citizens find it hard to get government photo IDs because the required documentation like birth certificates, the ID needed to get a government-issued photo ID, can be difficult or expensive to obtain.However, there are a number of acceptable IDs, according to the website, including:• Tennessee driver license with a photo (current or expired)• A driver license issued by another state (current or expired)• U.S. passport• Federal employee ID with photo• U.S. military ID• Gun permit card with photoStudent ID cards from state universities are not acceptable.Under the new voter ID law, in order to get a free photo ID for voting purposes, voters must show the following documentation to a Driver Service Center examiner:• Proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate)• Two proofs of Tennessee residency (such as a copy of a utility bill, vehicle registration, or bank statement)If the individual does not have a birth certificate they should ask to speak with a Driver Service Center manager who will work with them to identify possible other documentation to prove citizenship.Persons with a non-photo driver license, current or expired, can get it converted to a photo driver license for free.The new law requiring a government-issued photo ID to vote applies only to those voting at polling places.