United States

96-year-old Dorothy Cooper denied voter ID in Tennessee

A 96-year-old woman from Tennessee was denied voter ID despite going to an office with her birth certificate, voter registration card, lease and a rent receipt. Dorothy Cooper was told that she needed something that proved more convincingly that her last name is indeed Cooper.

At issue is the fact that because she got married, Cooper’s birth certificate records her original surname and not her current surname. It seems that the birth certificate counted as Cooper’s primary ID but the state’s list of acceptable identification documents shows that she needs secondary ID to prove her surname is correct.

Tennessee state officials say that they will work with Cooper to help her get the documents she needs. So that’s okay, all she really needed was some national media attention. Meanwhile, officials insist that the voter ID laws – passed to prevent voter fraud that wasn’t happening, while other abuses arguably go unchallenged – are in no way designed to disenfranchise certain types of voter. Glad we’ve cleared that up.


About Yin Tse

I am a second year architecture student studying in Berlin. I am originally from Beijing, China, where many of my family still reside, apart from my father, step-mother and step-sister, who reside in Cologne in Germany.


2 thoughts on “96-year-old Dorothy Cooper denied voter ID in Tennessee

  1. I don’t think you read the entire article on Ms Cooper. I live in the Chattanooga area. She is NOT being denied the right to vote. The headline was very misleading. Read the entire article. The headline was designed to get the reaction that it got. Such a shame.

    Posted by jlue | October 11, 2011, 10:51 pm
    • If you make it unnecessarily long-winded or hard or complicated to get the ID, fewer people are likely to bother and voting turnout will go down. It’s not rocket science.

      Posted by TK | October 12, 2011, 8:16 am

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