Harwell hits Cooper, Durbin on voter ID comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State House Speaker Beth Harwell is hitting back at congressional Democrats who criticized a new Tennessee law requiring a photo ID to vote.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois joined U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper in his Nashville district on Monday to raise concerns that the photo ID law could hamper ballot access.

Harwell, a Nashville Republican, in a statement Tuesday said the two Democrats should focus on pressing federal issues and not "come to Tennessee to trample on states' rights."

The state estimates 126,000 registered voters don't have current driver's licenses with photos on them. But the Secretary of State's office stresses that expired driver's licenses will qualify, as well as a slew of other government issued IDs, ranging from federal Veteran Identification Cards to state handgun carry permits.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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