by Marcus Washington
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - This Super Tuesday marked the first time that Tennessee voters were required to show a Photo ID in order to vote. One local veteran believes that the new law imposes limits on voter rights, rights he fought to protect.
The Voter ID law passed in April 2011 and made Tennessee one of 15 states to require photo identification for voting. The new law has been met with controversy as some believe it alienates voters and makes it harder for minorities and senior citizens to vote. Supporters of the law believe it cuts down on voter fraud and provides more clear voting results.
Under the law, anyone who cannot show proper identification can only vote by provisional ballot. The law does not affect individuals in nursing homes or group homes.
When former marine, Tim Thompson went to vote on Tuesday he was asked for an ID and refused to show it. While Thompson does have photo identification, he refused to show it in protest of the new law.
"I've earned my right to vote, for them to not to let me vote because I don't have an ID .Don't get me wrong, but I refuse to show it. I refuse to abide by this law," he said.
Thompson said he feels that the Voter ID law prohibits the poor, many minorities and the elderly from the right to vote, a right that many have fought and died for.
"I've used this for 37 years," he said showing his voter registration card, "This was good enough for my father, it was good enough for my grandfather and I refuse to show you a picture ID,"
After Thompson refused to show a photo ID, staffers at the voting location offered him a provisional ballot, the form accepted for those without picture identification.
"I am objecting to the law," said Thompson.
After refusing a provisional ballot and refusing to show photo ID, staffers asked Thompson to leave the polling location.
Thompson said that sacrificing his vote was worth it to make a point, one he hopes was heard loud and clear.
"You still have the right to vote. Get out and vote. Even if you have to follow this law as long as it's in effect, but get out voting. I am begging you; do not let my actions go unnoticed," he said.
While many provisional ballots were used in this year's Super Tuesday, the actual number won't be available until next week.
Statewide during early voting there were more than 200- thousand voters and only 47 provisional ballets needed.