Tag Archives: thelma

Retired State Capitol Cleaning Lady, 93, Blocked from Voting?

One woman who has been voting for more than eight decades in this state was told this week she may no longer be eligible to vote, reports WSMV-TV. She’s worked for years at the Tennessee State Capitol and has her old state ID, but that’s not good enough under the new voter ID law.
Thelma Mitchell cleaned this governor’s office for his entire term. She has been a fixture at the State Capitol for more than 30 years, yet this year she was told “you’re no longer allowed to vote.”
“I ain’t missed a governor’s election since (Frank) Clement got to be the governor,” said Mitchell.
The 93-year-old Mitchell voted for the first time in 1931, soon after women gained the right to vote in the United States. “It meant a lot to me,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell worked as a maid cleaning the State Capitol, specifically the governor’s office. She has known governors, legislators and council members personally for decades. This week Mitchell found out her old state ID with her picture on it is no longer enough to qualify her to vote. (Born in Alabama in 1908, she also never had a birth certificate, the story says.)
“When he told me I may be in this country illegally, I said I’ve been over here all my life,” said Mitchell.
…Mitchell and her nieces are considering suing the state.
“If it’s put her in this position, it’s probably put a lot more people in this position,” said Jones. “People are living longer. It’s a right (to vote). They struggled at getting the right to vote, and that’s their right.”

UPDATE: Excerpt from an AP story:
Mitchell, who was delivered by a midwife in Alabama in 1918, has never had a birth certificate. But when she told that to a driver’s license clerk, he suggested she might be an illegal immigrant.
But a spokesman for the House Republican Caucus said Mitchell was given bad information. Brent Leatherwood said even an expired state ID will allow her to vote.
Asked about why Mitchell might have been confused or received incorrect information about the new voter ID law, Leatherwood said only that the provision that allows for the use of state employee IDs is “pretty straightforward.”
He said staff would be contacting Mitchell to get to the bottom of the miscommunication.

Two Nashville Legislators, Some Local Officials Didn’t Pay Property Taxes on Time

As state and local governments struggle to make ends meet and regularly cut programs and services, a handful of Middle Tennessee elected officials and candidates for office haven’t paid their Metro property taxes in the four months since they came due, reports The Tennessean.
A Tennessean survey of property tax records shows two state legislators who represent Nashville, as well as one Davidson County judge and four Metro Council candidates, hadn’t paid their taxes as of Wednesday.
… The delinquent owners include two longtime state lawmakers who previously served on the Metro Council
Sen. Thelma Harper, first elected to the Senate in 1988, owed $1,199.35 on a Jefferson Street building she and her husband bought for $8,000 in 1989, according to property records. Built about 70 years ago, the building was appraised by the city for $72,600 in 2009.
Colby Sledge, press secretary for the Senate Democratic Caucus, said Harper’s husband intended to pay the bill in February but “quite frankly, it just slipped his mind,” he said.
“Rep. Brenda Gilmore, serving her third term in the state House of Representatives, and her husband, Harry, owe $1,081.03 on their Bordeaux home. Gilmore said the couple is working to pay the bill.
“We plan to pay it before the summer is over,” she said. “We just don’t have the money.”
Another elected official, Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Carol Soloman, owed $1,606.26 each on three rental units she owns in Madison under the business name Soloman Rentals. The address listed for Soloman on Metro property records for each unit is “604 Metro Courthouse,” her office chambers.