Thursday, March 7, 2013

Running Scared, Campfield Fights Making It Easier for College Kids to Vote

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Sen. Stacey Campfield threw a little hissy fit this morning on the Senate floor and managed to beat back a bill to let kids use their college photo IDs to vote. Campfield’s district includes the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus, and apparently there are too many liberal students to suit Campfield and not enough homophobes, so he denounced the idea of making it easier for any of them to vote.

The bill actually is aimed mainly at banning Memphis library cards as photo ID for voters. You might recall the state Supreme Court allowed the library cards to be used in last year’s elections. That was after Memphis went to court to challenge the state’s new photo ID law as an obvious Republican attempt to disenfranchise traditionally Democratic voters, many of whom live in Memphis.

But Murfreesboro Sen. Bill Ketron’s bill also adds college IDs to the list of acceptable identification for voting under the law. We can’t explain why Ketron would do this. Maybe some Republicans think it's dumb to make college kids jump through hoops to vote, since many of them are conservative. Campfield is not one of these Republicans.

“The reason we passed the law was to stop possible fraud,” Campfield told Ketron. “You’re just saying you’re going to open it up to more potential problems. Why not open it up to everything?”

Ketron agreed to postpone the bill for a week when Campfield wouldn’t shut up. Campfield already has drawn a Republican challenge for next year’s elections—a wealthy physician and Knox County commissioner—and the senator's clearly a little worried.

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