96-year-old Woman Who Voted During Jim Crow Is Denied Photo ID

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Democrats, Law, Republicans, Voting

The title pretty much says it all, but here’s more from the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

Dorothy Cooper is 96 but she can remember only one election when she’s been eligible to vote but hasn’t.

The retired domestic worker was born in a small North Georgia town before women had the right to vote. She began casting ballots in her 20s after moving to Chattanooga for work. She missed voting for John F. Kennedy in 1960 because a move to Nashville prevented her from registering in time.

So when she learned last month at a community meeting that under a new state law she’d need a photo ID to vote next year, she talked with a volunteer about how to get to a state Driver Service Center to get her free ID. But when she got there Monday with an envelope full of documents, a clerk denied her request.

That morning, Cooper slipped a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her voter registration card and her birth certificate into a Manila envelope. Typewritten on the birth certificate was her maiden name, Dorothy Alexander.

“But I didn’t have my marriage certificate,” Cooper said Tuesday afternoon, and that was the reason the clerk said she was denied a free voter ID at the Cherokee Boulevard Driver Service Center.

Here are all the papers she brought with her…

Clearly she’s trying to pull one over on Tennessee. Yeah…

If you haven’t heard yet, Republicans state legislatures across the country are trying to make it A LOT harder for the poor, elderly and minorities to vote with these new ID laws. Know why? When more people vote…Dems usually win handily. When fewer people vote, elections tend to swing towards the Repubs. It has been that way for years.

And yes, we all hear about voter fraud…when Republicans talk about it.

Why don’t you hear about it other times?

Because it doesn’t exist.

Sure, the right made a lot of hay about what ACORN did, but all they were guilty of was hiring lazy people who were registering fake people to vote so they could get paid more per registration. That’s it. There was no coordinated attempt to actually get IDs for those fake registrants so that they could then vote. And Republicans know it.

And yet, we have heartbreaking stories like the above.

So congrats Republicans! You might win this one yet…


This entry was posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2012 and is filed under Democrats, Law, Republicans, Voting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

15 Responses to “96-year-old Woman Who Voted During Jim Crow Is Denied Photo ID”

  1. Tillyosu Says:

    When more people vote…Dems usually win handily. When fewer people vote, elections tend to swing towards the Repubs. It has been that way for years.

    Wrong.

    Is Google really that hard to use?

  2. Justin Gardner Says:

    I’ve heard this for years and it has always seemed to hold true in my state and on the national stage. But here are numbers for the presidential election:

    1976 – 81M – 53.6%
    1980 – 86M – 52.6%
    1984 – 92M – 53.1%
    1988 – 91M – 50.1%
    1992 – 104M – 55.1%
    1996 – 96M – 49.1%
    2000 – 105M – 51.3%
    2004 – 122M – 55.3%
    2008 – 131M – 56.8%

    So, point taken. But please, lose the snark. You can make a point without being pointed.

  3. David P. Summers Says:

    One this issue, I’ve seem people mostly talking past each other. There are legitimate concerns over voter fraud and voter access, but each side only highlights one and dismisses the other. I’m afraid this article has, IMO, a fatal flaw that, while quite common these days, prevents it from providing any illumination to the issue.

    You can’t prove a generality with the specific. If you claim that most fish can crawl out of the water, it doesn’t matter how many examples you give of fish crawling out of the water (unless you actually cover more than half of all fish in the world _and_ can prove there aren’t any you have missed). One case only proves that there was a problem one time, not that there is a significant problem generally. Unless you take the view that we should ignore one side of the issue (voter fraud) as long as there is even one person who suffers the other side (denied voter access), which is only another form of denying one side of the issue for the other, all you have learned is that the other side hasn’t reached the unattainable goal of being perfect.

  4. Angela Says:

    It goes without saying, non-citizens should not be voting. There’s nothing wrong, in my view, with asking for proof of citizenship. There should be in place, however, a substantial compensatory punishment for counties, (townships, states, what have you) that deny someone access who indeed are citizens. On the other hand, there should also perhaps be a substantial punishment for voter fraud, I’m not opposed to jail time for that. The solution isn’t an easy one, either way. Also, the process for determining citizenship should be developed around guidelines.

  5. KCScout Says:

    I think it’s naive to believe voter fraud is not widespread and doesn’t happen. Remember ballot box stuffing in Chicago in 1960? Pretty sure that’s how Kennedy won Illinois.

    Fraud happens all the time with the collection of signatures on petition for recalls (see Walker Recall 2012) and with getting a candidate’s name on the ballot. Even a Democratic Party chairman and Obama campaign aides were charged with fraudulent signatures of real people in 2008 to get Obama on Indiana’s primary ballot: http://news.yahoo.com/indiana-voter-fraud-case-proves-ballot-petition-system-164200536.html.

    And just this year, a New Mexico town was rocked with voter fraud that question the integrity of their elections entirely: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/de909252db8f41e5aa5de75a5f4d631e/NM–Sunland-Park-Voter-Fraud

    In Kansas City, the 2010 Democratic primary for MO’s 40th state house district, John Rizzo beat Will Royster by 1 vote, by having family members vote who didn’t live in the district and Somali immigrants vote who weren’t even citizens: http://www.kshb.com/dpp/news/political/opponent-tries-to-link-rizzo's-relatives-to-alleged-voter-fraud

    A similar incident happened in the general for KS State House District 16 (Overland Park) in 2006 where Democrat Gene Rardin beat Republican Dennis Kriegshauser by only 4 votes – it was later found out that about 6 individuals who cast votes no longer lived in the district, and no longer lived in the state.

    There you go, concrete examples, only a few of many out there. What say you? Voter fraud can happen anywhere. I’ve lived in Kansas City for 20 years and I can tell you that there is plenty of voter fraud in this town.

  6. cranky critter Says:

    One case does prove “it can and does happen” David.

    Suppose we were able to census all people turned away, Who would buy the idea that comparing “numbers erroneously turned away” to “numbers legitimately prevented from voting” would give us our answer?

    I see this whole debate as only one context for a much braoder debate we are going to have about certifying our individual identities in the 21st century. And while civil libertarians may fight against the potential big brother aspect of this, most folks will opt in to voluntary methods of gaining such certification, leaving others SOL unless they join the new norm. Eventually, most of us will have our certified identity established at birth by our parents. “Do you want your child printed and DNA tested?”

  7. David P. Summers Says:

    “One case does prove “it can and does happen” David.”

    It doesn’t quit say that. It says “It did happen” (once) but not that has happened since or still happens (or happened before that). What does that mean? If you can dig up just one person who voted fraudulently, does that prove that the fraudulent voting is a general problem? The premise here is that this examples shows that there is a general problem, but you can’t prove a generality with by a specific example. Now the article could have then tried to explore that reason why this women was unable to vote and think about how likely that might be to happen again. However, instead it seemed to regard one example as all it needed. In fact, the depressingly widespread misconception that you can support a generality with examples is the main reason I commented (more than how the two sides in the voter registration issue talk past each other).

    “Suppose we were able to census all people turned away, Who would buy the idea that comparing “numbers erroneously turned away” to “numbers legitimately prevented from voting” would give us our answer?”

    I’m not sure what you mean by “census”, but a good statistical look the magnitude of both problems would the way to address it.

    “I see this whole debate as only one context for a much braoder debate we are going to have about certifying our individual identities in the 21st century. And while civil libertarians may fight against the potential big brother aspect of this, most folks will opt in to voluntary methods of gaining such certification, leaving others SOL unless they join the new norm. Eventually, most of us will have our certified identity established at birth by our parents. “Do you want your child printed and DNA tested?””

    I don’t fully agree or disagree (it is a sweeping statement). The need to identify people has always been at odds with individual liberties. As technology advances, it will affect that whether it renders old methods useless or brings now ones in.

  8. cranky critter Says:

    David, sometimes you actually can prove a generality with a specific. Depends on the specific nature of the generality. Your sweeping generalization on that matter was overly broad.

    If it’s something that Includes a word like “most” then yes, an anecdote won’t do. You’re right about that.

    What this one anecdote shows is that under the current rules, qualified voters are sometimes turned away. [And yeah, one single instance qualifies as "sometimes." I've edited logic lessons for publication: the three basic classes are always, sometimes, and never. Anything that isn't always or never is sometimes. That's the rule.]

    I’m not sure what you mean by “census”, but a good statistical look the magnitude of both problems would the way to address it.

    Well it might provide some quantification. But it would be unlikely to settle anything. Does denying the vote to one eligible voter count the same amount as allowing one fraudulent vote? Or is one more important than the other? My guess is that even very good data would budge very few partisans on this issue. They’re not interested in data, they’re interested in upholding their intuitions. Liberals are interested in being as nice and generous and understanding as possible. Conservatives are worried that permissiveness begets freeriding, which corrodes our culture. Unless they change their minds about that, data won’t persuade them.

    Not that there is good data. We have no idea what the relationship is between the amount of fraud that has been detected

  9. cranky critter Says:

    Oops. Who knows how much fraud there is that goes undetected? Shall we presume that the systems are hard to game, and that fraud is rare and usually detected. OR that the system is complicated and poorly overseen, and that most fraud is undetected except when done by the clumsy and careless?

    The need to identify people has always been at odds with individual liberties.

    Well, I’d go as far as saying that identification has often been in conflict with identity. Here’s the thing though. In the modern world, it may well become the case that having a certified identity helps preserve your liberty in comparison to the quality of whatever liberty you get without one. If you live at least 20 years, you’ll see exactly what I mean.

  10. David P. Summers Says:

    “David, sometimes you actually can prove a generality with a specific.
    Depends on the specific nature of the generality. Your sweeping
    generalization on that matter was overly broad.”

    Rules of logic are not sweeping generalizations. In math my teacher would, in any proof (ie where you are trying to prove a general rule), automatically give a zero give a zero if any examples of the proof working were presented. That was to drive home the point that you can’t prove the general be giving examples. (There are ways of inductively inferring the general, but these involve more just giving an example, for example resorting to statistics to make probabilistic arguments. In contrast, with the example there it isn’t even entirely clear how much the fault lay with the law and how much with the clerk).

    In wikipedia’s list of fallacies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies), would involve the fallacies of “Hasty generalization” (since one example is the smallest sample size) and “Misleading Vividness” (the use of 96 yr old women and her troubles and references to Him Crow).

    “If it’s something that Includes a word like “most” then yes, an
    anecdote won’t do. You’re right about that.”

    Well, the article didn’t use the word “most”. It stated a general conclusion “If you haven’t heard yet, Republicans state legislatures across the country are trying to make it A LOT harder for the poor, elderly and minorities to vote with these new ID laws”. That is a separate issue that I have not addressed (presuming to be able to read the minds of Republican state legislatures). The specific example doesn’t (and can’t) do much to actually establish that this general conclusion is true. I suppose the author could try and pretend he wasn’t trying to link the example to the conclusion (in which case there is no apparent reason for the example and it makes no sense) but that would be, IMO, either disingenuous or and example of fatally flawed writing.

    “What this one anecdote shows is that under the current rules, qualified
    voters are sometimes turned away. [And yeah, one single instance
    qualifies as "sometimes." I've edited logic lessons for publication:
    the three basic classes are always, sometimes, and never.
    Anything that isn't always or never is sometimes. That's the rule.]”

    It doesn’t matter here whether “sometimes” means “once” or “several times”, because it doesn’t change the limitations of one example. The example in question proves that it happened once. It doesn’t prove it happened before or that it will happened again.

    ” I’m not sure what you mean by “census”, but a good statistical look
    the magnitude of both problems would the way to address
    it.”

    “Well it might provide some quantification. But it would be unlikely to
    settle anything. Does denying the vote to one eligible
    voter count the same amount as allowing one fraudulent vote? Or is
    one more important than the other? My guess is that even very
    good data would budge very few partisans on this issue. They’re not
    interested in data, they’re interested in upholding their
    intuitions. Liberals are interested in being as nice and generous and
    understanding as possible. Conservatives are worried that
    permissiveness begets freeriding, which corrodes our culture. Unless
    they change their minds about that, data won’t persuade
    them.

    Not that there is good data. We have no idea what the relationship is
    between the amount of fraud that has been detected”

    Well, a number of points I mostly agree with…
    -I think partisan are selectively interested in data (they want data that support their “side”).
    -Actually data that conclusions could be drawn from won’t change the mind of partisans, but they will feel constrained to structure arguments around it (which will, IMO, move things closer to reality). It also can change the mind of those who need to make up there mind (I know that I would be interested in such data).
    -I would say that each fraudulent vote and each denied voter are equally important (since after all, mathematically each fraudulent vote negates one real vote, effectively denying it).
    -I have no idea how much fraud and how much voter denial there is (and would be with new laws). I think both sides are correct in regarding it as a significant issue, even if they show little interest in determining the reality of it.

  11. David P. Summers Says:

    [This is a repost of the above comment. I'm seeing if "blockquote" can make it clearer who is saying what...]

    David, sometimes you actually can prove a generality with a specific.
    Depends on the specific nature of the generality. Your sweeping
    generalization on that matter was overly broad.”

    Rules of logic are not sweeping generalizations. In math my teacher would, in any proof (ie where you are trying to prove a general rule), automatically give a zero give a zero if any examples of the proof working were presented. That was to drive home the point that you can’t prove the general be giving examples. (There are ways of inductively inferring the general, but these involve more just giving an example, for example resorting to statistics to make probabilistic arguments. In contrast, with the example there it isn’t even entirely clear how much the fault lay with the law and how much with the clerk).

    In wikipedia’s list of fallacies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies), would involve the fallacies of “Hasty generalization” (since one example is the smallest sample size) and “Misleading Vividness” (the use of 96 yr old women and her troubles and references to Him Crow).

    “If it’s something that Includes a word like “most” then yes, an anecdote won’t do. You’re right about that.”

    Well, the article didn’t use the word “most”. It stated a general conclusion “If you haven’t heard yet, Republicans state legislatures across the country are trying to make it A LOT harder for the poor, elderly and minorities to vote with these new ID laws”. That is a separate issue that I have not addressed (presuming to be able to read the minds of Republican state legislatures). The specific example doesn’t (and can’t) do much to actually establish that this general conclusion is true. I suppose the author could try and pretend he wasn’t trying to link the example to the conclusion (in which case there is no apparent reason for the example and it makes no sense) but that would be, IMO, either disingenuous or and example of fatally flawed writing.

    “What this one anecdote shows is that under the current rules, qualified voters are sometimes turned away. [And yeah, one single
    instance qualifies as "sometimes." I've edited logic lessons for publication: the three basic classes are always, sometimes, and
    never. Anything that isn't always or never is sometimes. That's the rule.]”

    It doesn’t matter much whether “sometimes” means “once”, because it doesn’t change the limitations of one example. The example in question proves that it happened once. It doesn’t prove it happened before or that it will happened again.

    ” I’m not sure what you mean by “census”, but a good statistical look the magnitude of both problems would the way to address
    it.”

    “Well it might provide some quantification. But it would be unlikely to settle anything. Does denying the vote to one eligible
    voter count the same amount as allowing one fraudulent vote? Or is one more important than the other? My guess is that even very
    good data would budge very few partisans on this issue. They’re not interested in data, they’re interested in upholding their
    intuitions. Liberals are interested in being as nice and generous and understanding as possible. Conservatives are worried that
    permissiveness begets freeriding, which corrodes our culture. Unless they change their minds about that, data won’t persuade
    them.

    Not that there is good data. We have no idea what the relationship is between the amount of fraud that has been detected”

    Well, a number of points I mostly agree with…
    -I think partisan are selectively interested in data (they want data that support their “side”).
    -Actually data that conclusions could be drawn from won’t change the mind of partisans, but they will feel constrained to structure arguments around it (which will, IMO, move things closer to reality). It also can change the mind of those who need to make up there mind (I know that I would be interested in such data).
    -I would say that each fraudulent vote and each denied voter are equally important (since after all, mathematically each fraudulent vote negates one real vote, effectively denying it).
    -I have no idea how much fraud and how much voter denial there is (and would be with new laws). I think both sides are correct in regarding it as a significant issue, even if they show little interest in determining the reality of it.

  12. cranky critter Says:

    David, sometimes you actually can prove a generality with a specific.
    Depends on the specific nature of the generality. Your sweeping
    generalization on that matter was overly broad.”

    Rules of logic are not sweeping generalizations.

    Let me just go ahead and win this one right here:

    Generality: Murders happen.
    Specific proving the generality: any one single specific murder.

    You failed to accurately and completely describe the rule of logic you wanted to talk about. The fact remains, that sometimes a single example can prove a general statement. I am sure there is some rule of logic here that you are correct about, but “specifics can’t prove generalities” aint it.

    Off the top of my head, I would say that rules of logic absolutely ARE generalizations, and sweeping ones at that. But I won’t bother arguing that point.

  13. cranky critter Says:

    “What this one anecdote shows is that under the current rules, qualified voters are sometimes turned away. [And yeah, one single
    instance qualifies as "sometimes." I've edited logic lessons for publication: the three basic classes are always, sometimes, and never. Anything that isn't always or never is sometimes. That's the rule.]”

    It doesn’t matter much whether “sometimes” means “once”, because it doesn’t change the limitations of one example. The example in question proves that it happened once. It doesn’t prove it happened before or that it will happened again.

    It proves that it CAN happen. Which is what I said, You can’t refute that. If I disagreed with your previous and now repeated claim ( It doesn’t prove it happened before or that it will happened again) I would have said so. I don’t.

    Yes a single example is limited. Of course it is. Never said it wasn’t. My simple and plain point is that examples can have a non-zero proof value depending on the nature of what you’re trying to prove. I’m kind of astonished at the amount of pushback here.

    In the voter example, one instance of a qualified voter being turned away does prove that it’s common or prevalent. It has NO probitive value as it relates to frequency. B eyond quite clearly proving that qualified voters CAN be turned away as a result of heightened ID laws.

    If you want to continue to discuss this, please take care not to avoid my formulation of the generality “It can happen.”

  14. cranky critter Says:

    Oops: In the voter example, one instance of a qualified voter being turned away does NOT prove that it’s common or prevalent.

  15. David P. Summers Says:

    It proves that it CAN happen. Which is what I said, You can’t refute that. If I disagreed with your previous and now repeated claim ( It doesn’t prove it happened before or that it will happened again) I would have said so. I don’t.

    Yes a single example is limited. Of course it is. Never said it wasn’t. My simple and plain point is that examples can have a non-zero proof value depending on the nature of what you’re trying to prove. I’m kind of astonished at the amount of pushback here.

    In the voter example, one instance of a qualified voter being turned away does prove that it’s common or prevalent. It has NO probitive value as it relates to frequency. B eyond quite clearly proving that qualified voters CAN be turned away as a result of heightened ID laws.

    If you want to continue to discuss this, please take care not to avoid my formulation of the generality “It can happen.”

    A specific example can be used to _disprove_ the general. If you assert that nobody has been denied the right to vote with the new law, then this example is would disprove that. However, this article, which gives the example and then a general assertion, is not doing that. It is using the example to support the general and that is logical fallacy.

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