96-Year-Old, Dorothy Cooper Denied Newly Required Tennessee Voter ID

As some of you know, I happen to live in Tennessee; Memphis to be exact. I’ve been here just a little over five years now, and two of my four kids were born here. Yesterday, my wife and I closed a deal on our first home here in Tennessee. I suppose it’s safe to say that at least for now, I plan to reside in the “Volunteer State” for quite a long time – at least for now. As it stands, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m heckled by my relatives in the northeast as Davey Crockett on my next visit. Yes, I’m finally resigned to the fact that I’m officially a country boy.

Now that it’s official, allow me to clear two things up: 1) No I do not sound like Terence Howard in Hustle & Flow, 2) No I don’t live next door to any of the guys in 36 Mafia, and 3) No, though I live in a “red(neck) state”, I will not vote Republican, ever. Now for all intents and purposes of this post, let’s talk about voting and the Republican Party here in the great state of Tennessee. As I mentioned on this site recently, new voting laws passed by Republican lead state government will disenfranchise voters – most of whom are minorities – in 2012’s general election. My state, is one of them; and, I’m sad to say this is what’s happening. In my state like many others, the most fundamental right in this great experiment in democracy that is the United States of America, is threatened. If you still don’t believe me, checkout the story of fellow Tennessean, 96-year-old Dorothy Cooper.

I’m not sure if you live in a “red(neck) state” like I do. However, I suggest you check into your voter eligibility; or, what is required, for you to excercise your right to vote. It may not be as easy as you’ve experienced in the past. Like my fellow Tennessean, Mrs. Dorothy Cooper, you too may run into some problems. Which I think is ridiculous especially since voter fraud isn’t an issue which warrants the implementation of new rules. But let them tell it, it is a problem; a huge problem.

Please believe, they’re making it hard out here for a pimp.

High-ranking state officials, egg all over their faces, are trying to contact 96-year-old Dorothy Cooper today to help her obtain a photo ID so she can exercise her right to vote. The officials obviously are embarrassed by her story, which appeared to their dismay today on the front page of theChattanooga Times Free Press. But amazingly (or maybe not considering that we’re talking about bureaucrats) they still don’t really get it.

Rather than presenting Mrs. Cooper with a photo ID—no more questions asked—they say they will tell her she has yet to finish jumping through their hoops. They say they will require her to rummage around in her house, find acceptable proof that her last name is indeed Cooper and then return to the driver’s license center with this documentation in hand. At that point, in what they apparently see as a great concession, they promise they won’t make her stand in line again.

You can believe that there are more Dorothy Coopers all across America. Some of them may not be her age; but still, because of these new laws, they too will be disenfranchised. Like her, they will not be allowed to participate in the very democratic tradition this nation promotes all around the world. Personally, I think it is a shame that in these United States in 20111, that these laws are allowed to continue. Hopefully, the Justice Department will step in as they’ve done in Texas, to ensure the preservation of the right to vote, all across the country. Lord forbid if we have to return to the days of old when women and minorities were not allowed to vote. Something tells me, that “certain people” would rather have it that way. But hey, they made Obama produce a birth certificate, didn’t they?