Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has declared openly that U.S. Senator Dick Durban (D-Illinois) along with one of Tennessee’s two Democratic Congressmen Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) have violated States’ rights in principle when the two appeared together at a Monday news conference, with Durban declaring that the Civil Rights division of the federal Department of justice should “investigate” whether Tennessee’s new voter identification law violates the Voting Rights Act by disenfranchising voters. Speaker Harwell reacted in a Tuesday press statement.
“I would suggest to our federal officials that they get their own house in order first. In an era of rising deficits, ballooning debt, and bloated federal government in Washington Dick Durbin and Jim Cooper have chosen to ignore those problems and come to Tennessee to trample on states’ rights. No wonder Congress has an 82 percent disapproval rating. Congressman Cooper has assumed the Washington mentality of not respecting states’ rights.
“The Tennessee General Assembly has balanced a budget, kept taxes low, and protected our elections. We are doing just fine without Washington’s help,” said the House Speaker.
It would be one thing if the State of Tennessee enacted a law which said you had to have an identification card to vote and you have to pay to get one. Yes, under the new law your driver’s license counts as an acceptable form of identification, and you do have to pay for those-but that is for the privilege to drive, not to vote. If you don’t drive, you can get an ID card free of charge to you. That’s right boys and girls, you do not have to pay under our law in Tennessee to receive an identification card that will verify you as a Tennessee resident who is legally entitled to vote. If, because you don’t drive, you can’t make it to your local County Clerk’s office of your own accord, get in touch with the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office or the Tennessee Department of Safety, and those people will give you directions on how you can get an ID card that will allow you to vote in all of next year’s elections.
This is not rocket science and it doesn’t disenfranchise anyone who cares enough to take five minutes of their time to make a phone call, write an e-mail, or otherwise do something to make sure they can simply prove who they say that they are.