published Thursday, October 20th, 2011

96-year-old Chattanooga woman receives originally denied photo ID to vote

  • photo
    In this Oct. 4, 2011 photo, Dorothy Cooper, 96, discusses problems she had getting a photo identification card at the Hamilton County Election Commission in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Boynton Terrace resident plans to vote by absentee ballot, which will not require a photo ID.
    Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Poll
Should voters be required to show a photo ID?
  • Yes. 65%
  • No. 35%

804 total votes.

Dorothy Cooper, the 96-year-old Chattanooga woman who was denied a state photo ID now necessary to vote, got her state-issued identification today, a Tennessee Safety Department spokeswoman said.

“She went in this afternoon and got her photo ID from the new driver service center in Red Bank,” safety spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals said. “They serviced her before anybody else. They did not know she was coming.”

Donnals said officials had offered to make a special appointment for Cooper “or meet her there at a designated time, but she came unannounced.”

Cooper, who is black, was initially denied the photo ID despite having a birth certificate to prove her citizenship because her maiden name changed after marriage.

She became a cause celebré for critics of a new state law requiring state or federally issued photo ID in order to vote beginning in 2012.

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Eric said...

"Cooper, who is black, was initially denied the photo ID...."

What does her being black have to do with anything? Would she have been given an ID the first time if she were white?

October 20, 2011 at 4:52 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Again, it wasn't easy for her to get this ID. That is absolutely false. This story is incorrect: Ms. Cooper had to wait and had to produce 6 pieces of ID. A call Lt. Governor's office and he did not help at all. Asked for her social security card, marriage license, etc... She was told to bring 4 pieces of ID then it went to 6.

Lt. Gov. Ramsey's office had called Ms. Cooper's friend, Charline Kilpatrick, two days earlier seemingly quite concerned. Now today they acted like they knew nothing about this.

October 20, 2011 at 4:57 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Dear Eric,

The answer is yes. Each time Ms. Cooper goes she needs more forms of ID. FIrst it was four now it is six. This wouldn't happen to someone white.

October 20, 2011 at 5:06 p.m.

Good. I'm glad she was finally able to prove who she is. The system worked and will work for everyone who follows the rules. I am glad they didn't cave and just give her the ID. Forcing her to prove her identity will ensure the voting process is protected for all valid voters.

October 20, 2011 at 5:26 p.m.
chet123 said...

why dont the republican stop playing games...we all know what this is about.....whats the rush to have id cards.....in the whole country(us) there were 80 voter frauds out of millioms....sound like a perfect score....but with id cards 5 millions voter will be denied..hmmmmmmm...sound like another republican manufactured crisis...the republican party have targeted segment of population that votes democratic.......this is old fashion voter suppression....they are really desparate........trying to steal another election......claim they beleive in democracy....how can they democratize small foriegn goverment when they fight against it here in america....what a joke....the republican party have lost it salt.....stand for nothing but the rich and greedy.....just a matter of time...the whole party will dissolved.....have become anti-america

October 20, 2011 at 6:35 p.m.
Legend said...

OK, so Ms. Cooper was able to receive her photo ID. Will this solve the problem for others? Or will everyone just declare problem solved and sweep the remainder future problems under the rug. The recent solution is actually not a solution at all. As it only address citizen over 65 who still own a drivers' license who'd opted to have their pictures removed from their license. What about the hundreds or thousands of others who never drove or no longer drive and gave up their drivers' licesne long ago? I sent this question, but never got a response. There's still some stinky stuff going on with this new voter requrement stuff.

October 20, 2011 at 6:59 p.m.
mhbraganza said...

Our democratic process is so much better now that people must produce drivers licenses to vote. Just as doing that has hugely improved the safety of our air travel.

October 20, 2011 at 7:34 p.m.

The system worked. So welcome Ms. Cooper to the world everyone else has been living in for over the past 10 years.

October 20, 2011 at 8:17 p.m.
jimfromthebay said...

why cant the city/county/state open a photo i.d. station in the court house ? seems like a good use of stimulus/ infrastructure funds insuring the franchise rights for the masses.

October 20, 2011 at 8:58 p.m.
patriot1 said...

Ms. Cooper, coming in with a birth certificate with one name and trying to get an ID by a different name is probably going to raise a flag.....no matter what color you are. Glad you got your ID card.

October 20, 2011 at 10:37 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Hey Patriot, she is 96 and doesn't drive. I'm sorry you don't understand that. I am sorry your head is so thick.

October 20, 2011 at 10:53 p.m.
macropetala8 said...

patriot1, overtime, birth ceritificates, at least for women, usually have always been in another name since women of Ms. Cooper's era were known to traditionally take on the last name of their husbands when marrying. dah! The point is, Ms Cooper had enough sufficient other documentation on hand that she shouldn't have been turned away in the first place. Even the DMV admitted she shouldn't have been turned away.

October 20, 2011 at 11:35 p.m.
chet123 said...

How can BookieTurner say the system work....this is only 1 of 5 millions thats been purged....what world the boy living in...i beleive its time for this country to have a revolution.......GOP WILL STOOP TO ANY LEVEL........how can bookieturner even speak about democracy in the mid-east when people like him is trying to kill it in AMERICA!!! What a JOKE!!!

October 21, 2011 at 7:05 p.m.
chet123 said...

This is another manufactured crisis by the GOP...as the Debt ceiling was.........The GOP main object is to beat Obama......boy what sore losers...whineeeeeeeeeeeee!

October 21, 2011 at 7:09 p.m.
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