Sunday, September 21, 2014 · 4:08 p.m.

Driver service centers to open additional Saturdays to offer voter IDs

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Waynesboro resident Kimberly Beckham was the first person in Tennessee to cast a ballot under the provisions of the state’s new photo ID law. (Photo: Contributed)

Officials with the Department of Safety and Homeland Security announced this week that eight driver service centers will be open the first Saturdays of October and November to give citizens additional opportunities to obtain photo identification in order to vote in upcoming elections.

The center in Hamilton County, located at 6502 Bonny Oaks Drive, is one of the eight that will be open two additional days.

The centers were chosen based on size and populations they serve and the response from citizens to centers that were opened in the weeks before the primary election.

New state law effective this year requires citizens to present a federal or state-issued photo ID to vote at the polls and also requires the Department of Safety to issue these IDs for voting purposes at no charge.

As of Sept. 6, 2012, the department has issued 22,355 such IDs. The majority of these were drivers' licenses without photos converted to photo licenses, officials said.

“Any citizen who needs a photo ID for voting purposes may obtain one at no charge by visiting any of our 51 driver service centers during normal business hours,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said in a prepared statement. “As an added service, we are again opening certain centers for special Saturday hours to make sure everyone has an opportunity to get a photo ID.”

The eight centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 6 and Nov. 3. No other services other than issuing IDs for voting will be available during these extra hours.  

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