published Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Dorothy Cooper’s story written into ‘The Newsroom’ finale

  • 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.

Dorothy Cooper, the 96-year-old Chattanooga woman who gained national attention as the face of the photo ID voting issue, has gone nationwide again. Or at least her story has.

HBO’s critically acclaimed series “The Newsroom,” wrote Cooper and her story into its finale, which aired Sunday night. The fictional show is based on a network news program.

Cooper is identified by name by fictional anchor Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels on the show. He tells his television audience that Dorothy Cooper is a woman from Tennessee who cannot vote because she doesn’t have a valid ID. He adds that 20 million people in the country do not have government-issued IDs and will therefore not be able to vote.

In the episode, which is told through flashbacks, Daniels’ character learns of Cooper’s story through her great niece, who is his nurse, according to a recap of the show on He is in the hospital after being found bleeding on his bathroom floor.

A Chattanooga Times Free Press story from earlier this year reported that Cooper did vote in a recent election, as she has done since the 1940s.

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