In 2011, Tennessee became only the fifth U.S. state to strictly require photograph identification as a prerequisite to voting.' Over the past decade, a nationwide battle has been brewing over voter identification laws. In fact, "[s]ince 2001, nearly 1,000 bills have been introduced in a total of 46 states," with 21 states passing "major [voter identification] legislation between 2003 and 2011." In 2011 alone, 34 states took up the issue, either "proposals for new voter ID laws in states that didn't already require voter ID at the polls (considered in 20 states), [or] proposals to strengthen existing voter ID requirements in order to require photo ID at the polls (considered in 14 states)." Despite its prevalence in state legislatures last year, the debate shows no signs of slowing down, as legislation is pending in 32 states this year.
"Viewing Tennessee's New Photo Identification Requirements for Voters Through Historical and National Lens,"
Tennessee Journal of Law and Policy: Vol. 9
, Article 6.
Available at: http://trace.tennessee.edu/tjlp/vol9/iss1/6