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Politics

Tennessee's voter photo ID law called 'voter suppression'

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper and community leaders are urging people to vote this election cycle following a recent report that shows states that toughened their voter identification laws saw steeper drops in election turnout than those that did not.

Cooper organized the news conference held in Nashville on Wednesday, the first day of early voting.

A Government Accountability Office report compared election turnout in Kansas and Tennessee — which tightened voter ID requirements between the 2008 and 2012 elections — to voting in four states that didn't change identification requirements.

In Tennessee, the report estimated reductions in voter turnout were 2 percent to 3 percent steeper than in the other states.

Cooper says tougher voting laws are examples of "voter suppression," and the way to fight back is to have heavy voter turnout, particularly from blacks and younger voters.