Worse Than Jim Crow: 96 Year Old African American Woman Denied Voter ID

Author: October 8, 2011 12:43 pm

Dorothy Cooper has been voting for a LONG time. In fact, since she started voting, she has only missed doing so in one election. She even voted during the Jim Crow Era. But when she tried to get a new voter ID in Tennessee, she was denied. The 96 year old Cooper brought in a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her voter registration card and her birth certificate but was still denied a voter ID. The excuse given to Cooper by the clerk was that she didn’t have a valid marriage certificate. That’s because she has outlived two husbands.

Earlier this year, former President Bill Clinton called the voter ID laws passed by several GOP controlled states, the most determined disenfranchisement effort since Jim Crow. What has happened to Dorothy Cooper proves it. And she stated as much during an interview with Al Sharpton on msnbc.

??SHARPTON: Even during Jim Crow days you didn’t have any problems voting in Tennessee?

COOPER: No, I haven’t had any problems at all until this time. This is the only time that I’ve had problems.

SHARPTON: Do you feel that this kind of law is something that you and others that have lived through the Jim Crow Era and other eras—do you feel that this is something that you never thought at this stage in your voting life that you’d have to face?

COOPER: No, I never thought it would be like this, ever.

Using voter fraud as an excuse, Republicans across the country passed these voter ID laws. The problem is that voter fraud is rare in American elections. Republicans certainly were not concerned about voter fraud when their candidates won elections. It was only after Barack Obama won in 2008 that Republicans decided to pass these laws. Democrats and voting rights advocates claim the laws will keep students, the elderly, and minorities from voting. All three of these groups also happen to vote Democratic.

Dorothy Cooper is an elderly African American woman, so the fears of Democrats and voting rights groups are coming to fruition. It’s unlikely that Republicans really care about keeping elections honest. They just want to rig future elections in favor of their own party. They know full well that young people, the elderly, and minorities make up the core of Democratic voters. And it’s no secret that this law targets those particular voters. For the last three years, Republicans have attacked young people, saying that they only vote liberal because they don’t know better. The GOP wants a new Jim Crow era. It would secure future elections for their candidates and keep them in power. That’s the real reason why Republicans want to change voting laws.


facebook comments:


  • Laws maybe absurd and there are many I can thnk of. Not allowing an American citizen to vote is wrong. I agree.
    Forgive me for just a moment but….. In this story I am not clear whether Ms Cooper had problems actually voting or getting her new voters ID. Did her plight point out a severe flaw in a law that was corrected or did it impede her ability to actually vote?

    We are so quick to politicize issues that we often lose site of what actually happened. I live in a democratic state (Maryland)where fraud is rampant in elections controlled by democrats. For God’s sake DEAD people voted twice sometimes. We are so lopsided that the Democratic machine NEVER comes to Maryland in ANY election. The Democrats constamtly redistrict Maryland to keep Democratic voters in the majority of almost ALL but the most rural districts.

    Face it both parties do unimanagable things to keep power. We need at least three viable parties to keep the system clean(er)
    Question? Were any white people denied the card for the same reason? Did the poorly written law affect a number of races? Was there only 1 instance where someone was denied their card? Can we really draw an inference from one case?

    Zealotry allows us to manufacture bogeymen behind every act when sometimes all that is there are flawed human beings who made mistakes.
    Let’s stop demagoging each other and have a real, conversation based on facts not emotions.

  • It is not only people in a minority that should be concerned about this sort of thing. I dislike both the democratic and republican parties, but I can definitely see that this is wrong. I am in a racial majority, but i still feel for all of the people this has happened to.

  • Money Quote…”It is possible that the ID requirements for planes, trains, automobiles, hotels, hospitals and jobs have justifications so compelling as to justify discrimination. It is also possible that by contrast, as Dionne maintains, preventing election fraud is not a sufficiently compelling justification. The point here is that no one has ever had to make the former argument, because nobody claims ID requirements are discriminatory against blacks except when it comes to voting.”


    • Okay Gabriel, let’s forget about race. How about the fact that an AMERICAN, was unable to vote. That should be even more disturbing to you than anything else. Here is a 96 year old woman, who, since her age of eligibility (in this case 21 because the 26th amendment was not around), was able to vote about 74 out of 75 times until now.

      Now if we were to add race, we take into account laws that deliberately designed to stop her from voting, and yet she was still able to do so. It’s odd that so often an issue of a minority is veiwed as an issue for that minority group alone and rarely as an American issue.

      This law comes along, and now she can’t vote? Gabriel are you saying all the other times she voted are invalid?

      We pass these laws in the global sense with complete disregard of the individual. But America was founded on the principle that all are created equal(we believed in this so deeply we put it in writing), and that we all have certain inalienable rights(again, put in writing). At the very center of ALL this: ONE MAN, ONE VOTE. WE ARE A DEMOCRACY!

      You may “It’s once out of 75, what’s the big deal?”

      You know as well as I do that that is once too many. This law can be easily abused.

      So despite what the Wall Street Journal OPINION section says, this law is a danger to all of our rights regardless of race or any other determining factors. I do however find it interesting that our first victim is an ELDERLY…BLACK…WOMAN.

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