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.