Dorothy Cooper, a retired domestic worker who lives in Chattanooga, Tenn., was denied a free voter ID because she did not have her marriage certificate, despite showing the clerk at the Cherokee Boulevard Driver Service Center, a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her voter registration card and her birth certificate. Did I neglect to mention Dorothy Cooper is black? Well, she is. You see, the new state law requires a photo ID to vote next year and Ms. Cooper wanted to do the right thing by getting the ID early.

Tennessee Republicans, like a handful of counterparts in several other states, perpetuating the lie that there is widespread voter fraud. They passed a voter identification law earlier this year that they claim would put an end to voter fraud and ensure fair elections. Of course, the Tennessee law, like similar laws in other states, have come under scrutiny by the NAACP and the ACLU, who maintain the elderly, poor and black voters will be disenfranchised as a result.

Cooper visited the state driver service center with Charline Kilpatrick, who has been working with residents to get free photo IDs. After the clerk denied Cooper’s request, Kilpatrick called a state worker, explained what happened and asked if Cooper needed to return with a copy of the marriage certificate.

“The lady laughed,” Kilpatrick said. “She said she’s never heard of all that.” Tennessee Department of Safety spokeswoman Dalya Qualls said in a Tuesday email that Cooper’s situation, though unique, could have been handled differently.

“It is department policy that in order to get a photo ID, a citizen must provide documentation that links their name to the documentation that links their name to the document they are using as primary proof of identity,” Qualls said. “In this case, since Ms. Cooper’s birth certificate (her primary proof of identity) and voter registration card were two different names, the examiner was unable to provide the free ID.” Source: Times Free Press

I can understand the reluctance to issue the free photo ID if the names don’t match, but there are other types of documentation that could have been requested to help Ms. Cooper. Have we no compassion for the elderly in this country? It’s preposterous to deny this woman because she didn’t have a marriage certificate in her possession at that moment. For goodness sake, she outlived two husbands. She doesn’t have a driver’s license because she never learned to drive and most likely never felt she needed to in the first place.

This article was cross-posted from The Hinterland Gazette.

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Copyright 2011 The Moderate Voice
  • rudi

    I’ll take a few illegal voters over this type of voter suppression everyday. Democracy works better when more vote, not when fewer elites vote. Maybe a Poll Tax or alliance pledge…

  • Allen

    Well I don’t understand it. There has NOT been even a fraction of voter fraud these REPUBLICANS are claiming!

    They are liars!

    History has shown us Republican corruption time and again. This is just more of it!

  • casualobserver

    My girlfriend is white, rich, merely 48 years old……and a well-connected Republican to boot. To get a replacement social security card reissued in her former maiden name, she had to produce a certified copy of the divorce decree……all the courtesy of a New Hampshire SS office. Little old black ladies in Tennessee are not the only ones getting hassled over Federal govt forms of identification nowadays.

  • EEllis

    It was a set up. There was a activist who is aiding people to get their free id’s. Somehow even tho she has done this many times (the activist) and knows all the requirements she never checked to make sure they had all the required documents but had a photographer and others at the busy DMV office to catch this event. Surprise!!!

  • rudi

    If you make this claim, please supply a link to back this up. Or did you pull this out of your arse.

  • I think this may have a lot to do with Homeland Security requirements for Photo ID. My 88 year old mothers drivers license expired a year ago. I took her up to get a photo ID and she needed her birth certificate and marriage license. She is white and lives in Oregon. She had had an Oregon drivers license for over 60 years.

  • rudi

    Here’s some local Tennessee links that don’t back up your biased claims.
    Maybe BreitBart will find out about the fraud involved between Cooper, Soros and Moore.

    On a serious note, Rosa Park’s was an activist, her setup started the end segregation in the South. But she probably was a STOOGE of Soros. In Park’s case it was a set up, and so what!!

  • SteveK

    rudi, It won’t happen. Just take EE and his eeyorian comments

    “That Accounts for a Good Deal,” said Eeyore gloomily. “It Explains Everything. No Wonder.”

    “You must have left it somewhere,” said Winnie the Pooh.

    “Somebody must have taken it,” said Eeyore. “How Like Them,” he added, after a long silence.

    … and outlook on life as a positive, reaffirmation of the good choices (& good luck) we’ve spent in not taking the same path.

  • rudi

    While getting a photo ID is a byproduct of HS, the voter suppression is a partisan Republican action by the Tennessee legislature.

    Democrats countered that the bill’s provisions would prove burdensome to many of the 500,000 adult Tennesseans — many of them poor, elderly or handicapped — who have no state driver’s license.

    “It is a modern-day poll tax, ladies and gentlemen, for these poor people who have to travel to another county to pay a fee in order to have an ID that will let you vote,” said Sen. Roy Herron, D-Dresden.

    He noted that driver’s license offices are in only about one-third of Tennessee counties.

  • EEllis

    Or did you pull this out of your arse

    I hate it when people talk all tough on the internet. You sound like a 12 yo boy. Next you will threaten th kick my arse.

    I followed the links given. Why do you have any doudts about the facts? That the “helper” or the camera person were there? How do you think they got the pic of the lady that goes with the source article? You know the one where she is at the DMV?

  • EEllis

    Here’s some local Tennessee links that don’t back up your biased claims.

    What is biased about my claim? What is my claim? I believe that some local activist used this old lady to make a point because she cared more about trying to show how people are disenfranchised than actually helping this woman. I believe she could of looked at the docs and said “you’ll need to bring this” and instead showed up knowing the lady would be turned away but what the heck she got the photo’s and a story.

    I feel for the lady and bureaucracy is a pain, but it was a staged event that could of been avoided and this lady could have her ID now if her being turned away didn’t serve the activist better.

  • “It’s preposterous to deny this woman because she didn’t have a marriage certificate in her possession at that moment.”

    “At that moment.”

    Once again, more ‘disenfranchisement’ sophistry.

    My wife has to present her marriage certificate in order to renew her driver’s license in Missouri. And her hair was mussed for the photo!

    WHERE’S. THE. ACLU.????!

    Thanks for playin’, Janet.

  • slamfu

    I guess the point being made here by these policies is if you want to vote hassle free don’t get married if you’re a woman. Sounds like some good synergy with the family values folks.