The Real Story of Dorothy Cooper, Disenfranchised Voter

Washing across the country is a maelstrom of progressive/socialist voter identification outrage.  Mean old Republicans are trying to disenfranchise little old ladies in Tennessee.  Dorothy Cooper, who is described as a 96 year-old woman who has voted for decades, was recently denied a voter identification card.  Lori Sturdevant of the StarTribune highlighted this tragic tale of voter disenfranchisement in an article entitled, ‘A good target for the League of Women Voters,’  November 12, 2011. This has become a cause celebre amongst far Left activists throughout the nation.  Tennessee, among other states, passed laws requiring voter identification and now the entire voting system will be corrupted, destroyed, and our Democratic Republic will lie in ruins.   We mustn’t let these vile conservatives and moderates get their way and require proof of who you are. Or so the story goes.


Sturdevant begins her narrative with a history of the purpose of the League of Women Voters and the tragedy of women only getting the vote a little over ninety years ago.  She writes of the quiet work of the League and the desperate need to make sure voting rights are never abridged, by anything.  She then launches her attack on a common sense solution to voting irregularities, the requirement of a photo ID to vote.

Sturdevant quotes a couple of officials from the state chapter and national Leagues as saying:

“This sets up a barrier for a lot of folks who have never had a need for a drivers’ license or ID card in any other aspect of their lives, and now would be told they need one to exercise the most fundamental constitutional right that they have,” MacNamara said.”

I don’t know who these people could be.  It would strain the imagination to think of how you can bank, cash a check, buy a bottle of wine, get welfare, social security, a job, or use some form of credit without having a photo ID.  Such fantasies still entertain the Leftist brain though.   They’ve been searching for a case study of voter disenfranchisement to prove their imaginary point.  It seems they have found such a person who was cruelly, unjustly prevented from exercising her right to vote.

Sturdevant writes, “Dorothy Cooper, a 96-year-old woman from Chattanooga, Tenn., has become an anti-ID national poster grandma for twice being denied her state’s newly required ID card — even though she had voted in every election but one for more than 70 years.”  Well, this is outrageous.  So, this woman has voted in virtually every election for the past seven decades and now she is being denied her right to vote because of the vicious, maniacal, capricious standard of proving identity as envisioned by a vast rightwing conspiracy in Tennessee.

Of course, the facts on the ground are not quite how Ms. Sturdevant presents them.

As the story begins, Dorothy Cooper went to get a voter ID.  “In a manila envelope she brought a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her voter registration card and her birth certificate. But none of that was enough. A Safety Department bureaucrat turned her away because her maiden name, Dorothy Alexander, was typewritten on the birth certificate, and she didn’t have a marriage license to prove her name now is Cooper.”  ‘Dorothy Cooper incident in Chattanooga highlights parties’ split regarding photo ID law,’ by Jeff Woods, The City Paper, October 23, 2011.  This certainly doesn’t look good.  If we can’t prove our identity, then getting a voter ID does become problematic.  However, the story doesn’t end with this.  There’s much more.

On October 20, 2011, Ms. Cooper did receive her voter ID.  The process was mangled and a Tennessee official said this;

“Bill Gibbons, the commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security, admitted the clerk who rejected Mrs. Cooper made a mistake and should have given her the ID. Assistant commissioners directly under Gibbons reached out to Mrs. Cooper to make matters right. “I’ve said before and I’ll say again today that I don’t think that particular incident was handled the way it should have been,” Gibbons said. “I think we should have exercised some commonsense discretion and issued the photo ID to Mrs. Cooper, because I think it was fairly obvious that she was who she said she was.”

Imagine, a government agency bungling a straight forward situation.  These knuckleheads are representative of the exact same system Democrats are dreaming and hoping Obamacare will create.  Instead of not getting her voter ID, Ms. Cooper will not get her pills or surgery or therapy under a bureaucratic system of indifferent public servants playing cover-your-butt.  But, I digress.

So Cooper did get her voter ID.  After the bureaucratic snafu, the ‘disenfranchised’ voter was suddenly made an enfranchised voter.  Did this prevent her from voting?  Nope.  She plans on voting in March.  Did this affect her in such a way as to traumatize her frail condition?  Let’s see.

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Ansley Haman writes, “Before Thursday, the Safety Department offered to help Cooper get a free ID, but she declined, telling them she’d decided to vote absentee. She said she later changed her mind, and Kilpatrick again offered a ride to the center.  ‘I wanted my ID with a picture on it,” Cooper said. “So many places I go ask me for it.” ‘96-year-old Dorothy Cooper finally gets ID to vote,’ October 21, 2011.

So, Cooper first decided to just vote absentee, which is allowed under Tennessee law for anyone over the age of 65.  Rather than go through the bureaucratic nightmare, which is the Democratic Party’s proud ‘middle class,’ she would have just voted some another way.  But, after giving it some thought, Cooper decided to go and get her photo ID.  Why?  “So many places I go ask me for it.”

But, I thought no one asked for ID except at the voting booth.  We have been told that women like Cooper can’t or won’t get ID’s, don’t need them, and this terrible inconvenience will prevent them from going to the polls.  We are led to believe that standing in line at a government office and being forced to return with the correct paperwork is a tragic disenfranchisement of voters.  Yet, we now know that Ms. Cooper decided she might as well get the photo ID because it would give her proof of identity in “so many places.”

Yet, this tale is being pressed upon us as proof of conservative voter suppression.  It seems to me it was just a tale of a voter getting a photo ID.  In the end she decided the photo ID was a good thing.  All’s well that ends well.

Of course, that’s not how the Left characterizes it.  This is why it’s important to look into the full story and not trust the twisted narratives of people like Ms. Sturdevant.  They make up fairy tales and then pretend they’re based in fact.

Crossposted at Looktruenorth.com