As a person living in a neighboring state where the GOP is doing its best to disenfranchise voters most likely to vote Dem, this news from Tennessee isn’t surprising, but it is disgusting. Why not just bring back the Poll Tax and be done with it? From Think Progress:
Swept up in the craze of preventing widespread voter fraud that doesn’t actually exist, Tennessee Republicans passed a voter identification law this year that they claimed would put an end to fraud and ensure fair elections. Like similar laws in other states, Tennessee’s version has come under scrutiny from voting rights advocates, civil rights groups like the NAACP and ACLU, and even Democratic senators, who oppose the laws because they will disenfranchise poor, elderly, and minority voters who are less likely to have photo IDs.
The state now has evidence that that will be the case. Dorothy Cooper, a 96-year-old Chattanooga resident who says she has voted in every election but one since she became eligible to vote, wanted to ensure she’d have the necessary ID to vote in next year’s elections, when Tennessee’s law goes into effect.
More from the Times Free Press: [cont’d.]
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.
…”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.”
…State Rep. Tommie Brown, D-Chattanooga, said Tuesday that Cooper’s case is an example of how the law “erects barriers” for the elderly and poor people — a disproportionate number of whom are minorities.
“What you do, you suppress the vote,” Brown said. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.”
If you’re in a state that recently fell under GOP control, watch out – these political shenanigans have been at the top of their list to ensure a conservative majority and to make voiceless and powerless the people they have wanted to target since they took office.