An Elderly Couple in Tennessee finds they CANNOT Register to Vote! All part of the NEW LAW enacted by Republican Governors to STOP Minorities, the Elderly and the Poor from Voting!!!
The Tennessean.com Reports: WASHINGTON — Lee and Phyllis Campbell never thought a trip to the Murfreesboro driver's license testing center would take them all the way to Washington. But that's what happened Monday, when the couple testified before a panel of House Democrats on their experience with Tennessee's new voter ID law. A staffer on the House Judiciary Committee invited the Campbells to testify at the forum on new state voter laws after hearing about the ordeal Phyllis Campbell experienced while trying to get a photo ID at the Murfreesboro testing center in September.
"It was daunting," Lee Campbell, a retired guidance counselor at Smyrna High School, said at the end of the forum. Tennessee is one of six REPUBLICAN states that passed laws this year requiring a government-issued photo ID to vote.
Fourteen REPUBLICAN states have now enacted such laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
There's no charge for the IDs in Tennessee. But officials at the Murfreesboro testing station told the Campbells an ID for Phyllis would involve too much paperwork and they should pay at least $8 to renew her driver's license, Lee Campbell testified. He said that when he insisted they wanted the free ID, he had to speak to three different testing center employees before one finally got approval to renew Phyllis' driver's license with a photo, free of charge. The visit lasted 58 minutes, he said. The wait didn't bother the Campbells, and they could have afforded the $8 fee. But those factors could deter other people from seeking an ID, Lee Campbell said.
"The point was that the Tennessee legislature had emphasized that the photo was to be FREE," he told lawmakers. "Otherwise, in my opinion, the fees being charged could be considered a POLL tax. (REPUBLICAN DIRTY TRICKS TO STOP THE ELDERLY, THE POOR AND MINORITIES from VOTING in the Next Election!!) The workers should have automatically asked, 'Are you here for the free ID?'"
Some 230,000 Tennesseans hold a non-photo driver's license, including 126,000 seniors who are registered voters. Under Tennessee law, seniors like Phyllis Campbell can opt not to have a photo put on their driver's license after age 60. Another 47,000 Tennesseans are registered to vote but don't have a driver's license.
District Supervisor Amy Lackey confirmed in September that the Murfreesboro testing center encouraged people without a photo on their license to get a new license with a photo rather than getting a separate photo ID for voting, which creates more paperwork. People who want a free photo ID for voting must ask for it specifically, she said. Lawmakers and other witnesses at Monday's forum echoed Lee Campbell's concerns about state voter laws. Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said Democrats want to get the state laws overturned, but acknowledged that might not be possible before the 2012 elections. In the meantime, he urged witnesses to "make sure that every voter in every jurisdiction can vote."
"We cannot afford to not have them able to vote come November 2012," he said. "This election is crucial to them, their families, and their country." It's also crucial to Democrats. Experts say photo ID laws disproportionately target minorities, low-income people and students — all of whom are more likely to vote Democratic.
They said fees for getting IDs or documents needed to prove citizenship or identity, such as birth or marriage certificates, resemble the POLL taxes that were used mostly in the South to disenfranchise blacks and poor whites. The laws also affect elderly, disabled and rural voters, who may have trouble traveling to get a photo ID or waiting in long lines. Lee Campbell said he's spoken to friends and former colleagues -- the Poor and the Elderly -- who said they might not vote next year because getting to the testing station and waiting in line was too difficult.