3rd Tennessee Voter ID FAIL

Hey Tennessee Republicans: you really want to charge World War II veterans a poll tax to vote? Seriously?

World War II veteran Darwin Spinks went to a testing center last month to get a photo ID for voting purposes. Under the law, any resident without a photo ID is supposed to get one free of charge. But when Spinks asked for an ID, he was told he had to pay an $8 fee.

First Tennessee Republicans denied 96-year-old Dorothy Cooper the specific ID she needed to vote, because she didn’t have her marriage certificate. Then 91-year-old Virginia Lasater was physically unable to stand and wait in the crowded Murfreesboro driver testing center. And now this.

Let’s remember: these folks all have ID. They have government-issued ID. What they don’t have is the specific form of ID that Tennessee’s state law has arbitrarily decided one needs to vote. Dorothy Cooper has a police-issued ID for the public housing where she lives. Not good enough! Darwin Spinks and Virginia Laseter even have driver’s licenses — but there’s no picture on them, because they’re senior citizens.

Maybe everyone should just go get a gun carry permit. That seems to be the one form of ID Tennessee Republicans think is suitable for voting. I wonder why?

Even worse, the recent MTSU poll found that most Tennesseans don’t really understand the new voter ID law or what arbitrary forms of ID are acceptable:

Just under three in four Tennesseans say they have heard that state residents who go to vote will be asked to show a photo ID starting in 2012.

— But a little over half of respondents knew that a valid employee ID issued by a major automaker to a worker at one of its Tennessee plants would be unacceptable.

— Only 32 percent knew that “a valid University of Tennessee student identification card would be unacceptable.”

— Only 14 percent knew that an expired drivers license would be acceptable

That Tennesseans are embarrassingly uninformed on something this important is about par for the course. I suspect we’ll hear a lot more horror stories on election day, when people actually show up to vote and are turned away. Some of them might — gasp! – even be Republicans.

I wonder if Bill Ketron and Debra Maggart have thought of that?

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12 Comments

Filed under Tennessee, voter turnout

12 responses to “3rd Tennessee Voter ID FAIL

  1. Pingback: Gotta look Sharpe | My Blog

  2. In Wisconsin, the fee for a State ID is $38; the DMV clerks have been instructed not to offer the free option for the voting ID unless the patron knows enough to specifically ask for it.

    One clerk sent an email to all his friends and family telling them to spread the word that the free option needs to be requested. He got fired for that.

    Fuck Turdwaffle Walker and the goon squad Republicans trying to restrict voting, because they know that if the franchise is expanded, they will lose.

    • We’ve kinda got the same deal, don’t know about the firing part but everyone has been told that they can get a photo ID for voting for free.

      I just fail to see how any of this will pass court muster but of course the wheels of justice are slow and the Rethugs don’t look past the next election.

      Never thought it would come to this in the USA. I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK! For real.

  3. Here in Massachusetts, you go to a city and/or town hall clerks office, fill out a very short form, and that’s it. When its time to vote, go to the polling station, tell them the street address, he/she says your name, gives you the ballot, vote return it, and done, and on your merry way.
    What most of these other states are doing, is nothing more than voting suppression, and that is fucking uncalled for.

    • ThresherK

      In my state, our SecState is already beating the drum about getting people registered and how and where they can vote. By “beating the drum”, I mean, “promoting voting and informing people of their options”.

      I’ve lived in Connecticut my whole life, and our SecState has always been a Democrat (or maybe an Eisenhower Republican–remember them?).

      Yeah, w.r.t. Tennessee, funny how that works in other states.

  4. TN-Kady

    My 60 year old husband renewed his Tennessee license by mail. He received the new one last Friday in the mail. It has no picture. How’s he suppose to vote? There are lots of people renewing by mail because it’s much easier and are encouraged to do so by the DMV. How many realize there will be no picture on the renewed license–I sure didn’t.

    • An expired license will work for voting, if it has his picture on it. Did they replace a picture license with one without a picture? Why would they even do that?

      Funny thing about expired licenses though: I just got mine renewed and they told me to DESTROY my old license! Good thing I didn’t, I may need it some day!

      He’s going to have to go to a driver testing center in person and he has to be sure to say the picture ID is for VOTING purposes otherwise they will charge him again.

      Un-believable isn’t it?

      • TN-Kady

        Yes, they sent him a license without a picture. I guess why they do that is to make it as hard as possible on people to vote. He has his expired license, and tho he has voted in every election since he was 19, he’s so disgusted he’s saying he’s not going to vote for anyone–hopefully, I’ve got time to talk him out of that one.

        This is first time I’ve ever commented on your blog site–been lurking for a couple years. I want you to know how much I enjoy reading your stuff–especially since you’re right down the road and I haven’t many Tennessee friends that think on the same page as you and I.

  5. TN-Kady

    One more thing: concerning using the gun carry permit–you have to get it at the DMV.

  6. I just got my driver’s license renewed on 10/25–I’m FINALLY old enough to get the gummint check!–and they asked me if I wanted to register to vote. I said I was all set, completed the transaction and got a receipt with the notice that I had been told about and declined the opportunity to register–for one of several reasons.

  7. John Weiss

    Oregon, my (largely) progressive new home has polling places, but sends every eligible voter a ballot in the mail. The ballots are either dropped off at a ballot box or returned by mail. Much less expensive to the public and much less egregious than having to show an arbitrary id.

    Gods! I hate the current bunch of Republicans!

    • We’ve all said everyone should have vote by mail but the Republicans hate that idea. They scream “what about the voter fraud!!!” but I’m like, really?

      Simply put, Republicans want to keep people from voting and Democrats want to allow more people to vote.