Public Transportation Woes for Seniors and Long Lines Impede Photo ID to Vote Law

Senior Citizen Riding Public TransportationIn light of how difficult it is to get even a free photo ID (which all Tennesseans must have to vote in 2012), the two pieces printed by the Tennessean today are very interesting.

First is the news story, “Seniors increasingly stranded Nashville’s mass transit service is inadequate, spotty, advocates say.”

A report this summer by Transportation for America ranked Nashville among the least prepared metro areas of 1 million to 3 million people when it comes to senior citizen transit. About 150,000 seniors in the region — 86 percent — will not have access to adequate transportation by 2015, the report concluded.

We know the new photo ID to vote bill will effect many seniors who do not drive and rely on public transportation. If this is what public transportation looks like in Nashville, what might it look like (or is it non-existent?) in more rural areas of the state?

Then Gail Kerr weighs in on the lip-service that has been paid over the years to the long lines at the DMV – which is where Tennesseans must go to get their photo IDs to vote:

Promises, promises. That’s what state officials have offered for decades about the long waiting times. Instead, they fudge the numbers by ignoring the time it takes to get to the first clerk.

The state also has rules that are just plain dumb. Ask Glenn Carter, who brought his 15-year-old to Centennial to get her permit. They had all their paperwork. But her school failed to fill in her address, Social Security number and father’s name on the proper form.

She had an ID with her address, her actual Social Security card, and her father was standing right there with a valid driver’s license. But the clerk made the duo return to Hillsboro High so school officials could fill in those blanks.

“That was really kind of crazy,” Carter said. “Like we don’t know our address.”

After two hours, Carter’s daughter started all over. He took the entire day off from his family florist business.

He took the whole day off from his business. What if you don’t own your own business and aren’t granted the time off it takes to get the ID you need to vote? Too many hoops.


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