Mary Elizabeth S. Dunn has lived and voted in Appling County for nearly fifty years now. She hasn’t moved, yet when she and her husband Jimmy went to vote on May 26, Shonda Carter, the registrar, greeted her by name and told her she was not eligible to vote in that election because she was in the wrong district.
Elizabeth replied, “I voted for Greg Morris, the man we’re replacing, and I live three miles as the crow flies from one of the candidates. I live in that section of Appling County represented by this candidate, along with Jeff Davis and Toombs. Why wouldn’t I be eligible? I haven’t moved.”
When Carter insisted, Dunn left to go home and do some investigating on her own. At this point, her husband didn’t even try to vote. Elizabeth had her voter ID card in her purse, but she didn’t think to produce it at that point. She did show her driver’s license.
Back home, Dunn went online to Georgia’s My Voter Page and found that she was indeed eligible to vote.
Back at the election office the next day, Elizabeth produced her voter ID card and explained what she had found online. Finally, one official declared her eligible and allowed her to vote. She said it had something to do with the name, and she had looked it up by her address that second time. Her Passport and driver’s license say Mary Elizabeth Dunn and her voter ID card reads Elizabeth S. Dunn. She gave Jimmy new cards to fill out and return. Jimmy had no trouble voting, even though his card read J.M. Dunn, Jr. and his license, James Dunn. The voter ID cards were issued back in 2014 when they shut down the Graham voting. Graham is about two min-
utes from their house. Now they must drive to town and out US#1 N to a church to vote.
“The problems arose when they started changing everything and not explaining it to people,” Jimmy said.
They hope everything is straightened out now. They gave them a different letter from the one on the card. They filled out and returned the new cards three weeks ago but haven’t yet seen any changes on the Georgia My Voter Page.
The big question is how many would-be voters would have pursued it so diligently. With the right identification, voting is supposed to be easy, not complicated. What about people who might not know to go to Georgia My Voter Page or don’t have computers or aren’t computer literate? It’s a form of voter suppression, deliberate or not.