One Woman’s Failure in Seeking a Photo ID to Vote

The Tennessean has a story of a Nashville woman’s efforts to get a photo ID for voting. Cora Beach, 56, who lives in public housing in East Nashville and requires regular dialysis for kidney failure, has so far been unsuccessful.
On her initial trip to a Davidson County driving center, Beach lacked a required birth certificate to prove citizenship. She quickly fixed that by having one sent from her native Selma, Ala.
But Beach was turned away again last week and a third time Tuesday — at separate driving centers — even though she displayed her birth certificate, apartment rental lease and Social Security, Medicaid and Davidson County voting cards.
Those documents more than met the state’s requirement of two documents to prove residency. But there’s one final document Beach must produce, and, so far, she hasn’t been able to: her two marriage licenses, including one from Toledo, Ohio.
…Michael Hogan, director of the Department of Safety’s Driver Service Division, said driving center workers are following the correct protocol in Beach’s situation by trying to match her birth certificate to her proof of Tennessee residency.
“Those documents have to line up,” he said. “What happens is, particularly with women, whenever they marry, their legal name is now the name of their husband.”
Hogan says marriage certificates, divorce decrees or certified court orders are used to “bridge that gap” of identity from a maiden name to current last name
Beach, who claims on one occasion she waited at the driving center for two hours only to be turned down, described her ordeal in one word: “hell.”

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