Dorothy Cooper is 96 but she can remember only one election when she’s been eligible to vote but hasn’t. The retired domestic worker was born in a small North Georgia town before women had the right to vote. She began casting ballots in her 20s after moving to Chattanooga for work. She missed voting for John F. Kennedy in 1960 because a move to Nashville prevented her from registering in time
So when she learned last month at a community meeting that under a new state law she’d need a photo ID to vote next year, she talked with a volunteer about how to get to a state Driver Service Center to get her free ID. But when she got there Monday with an envelope full of documents, a clerk denied her request.
That morning, Cooper slipped a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her voter registration card and her birth certificate into a Manila envelope. Typewritten on the birth certificate was her maiden name, Dorothy Alexander “But I didn’t have my marriage certificate,” Cooper said Tuesday afternoon, and that was the reason the clerk said she was denied a free voter ID at the Cherokee Boulevard Driver Service Center.
In Nashville on Tuesday afternoon, a coalition of organizations announced an effort to repeal the law. Groups such as the ACLU of Tennessee, various chapters of the NAACP, the AFL-CIO and Tennessee Citizen Action announced a petition drive and get-out-the-vote effort.
Absentee ballots don’t require photo ID, and the new state law was crafted to allow that exception. A U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding a similar Indiana statute cited the absentee ballot exception as one of the reasons the Indiana law didn’t infringe on constitutional voting rights.
Still, Cooper said she will miss the practice of going to the voting precinct located in the building next door to hers.
Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, is one of the main proponents, and even he is backpedaling. Yesterday, as liberal groups launched a petition drive against the law and the Senate held hearings into whether it’s disenfranchising voters, Ketron introduced a bill to let anyone over the age of 60 vote by absentee ballot without a photo ID. Ketron said he doesn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want a photo ID. “They make you proud,”he said.
Oh, conservatives should be very proud.
There’s a lot of shame to go around here, and every time I post on this I get questions in the comments like: “why is this allowable under federal law?”
The short answer is it’s allowable under federal law because the US Supreme Court considered the Indiana law that set the legal precedent that allows partisan Republicans in these states to attempt to disenfranchise certain voters, and the US Supreme Court blithely and cavalierly rubber-stamped that Indiana law.
The Supreme Court on Monday backed Indiana’s law requiring voters to show photo identification, despite concerns thousands of elderly, poor and minority voters could be locked out of their right to cast ballots. The 6-3 vote allows Indiana to require the identification when it holds its statewide primary next week. It also will give most state legislatures time to revise their voter laws for the November elections. This was perhaps the biggest voter rights case taken up by the justices since the 2000 dispute over Florida’s ballots, in which George W. Bush prevailed to gain the presidency.
That’s where this started. That’s what opened the flood gates and led us to today.
I don’t want to leave anyone out of today’s stunning conservative victory. An honorable mention in the big win should go to two millionaire media stars: Fox News personality/reporter Greta Van Susteren and her fellow Murdoch mouthpiece, John Fund at the Wall Street Journal. These two soulless ghouls pushed the voter fraud lie relentlessly and helped get us here. What a great day for media giants Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. They managed to push a 96-year-old woman out of her neighborhood polling place.
You go, Tennessee voting enthusiasts. Put this law to a citizen veto. Ohio just did it, and you can too.