Lee and Phyllis Campbell never thought a trip to the Murfreesboro driver’s license testing center would take them all the way to Washington. But that’s what happened Monday, when the couple testified before a panel of House Democrats on their experience with Tennessee’s new voter identification law.
A staffer on the House Judiciary Committee invited the Campbells to testify at the forum on new state voter laws after hearing about the ordeal Phyllis Campbell experienced while trying to get a photo ID at the Murfreesboro testing center in September.
Lee Campbell, a retired guidance counselor at Smyrna High School, did most of the talking. “Well, it was a first-time experience,” he said afterward. “It was daunting, but I guess it turned out OK.”
Tennessee is one of six states that passed laws this year requiring a government-issued photo ID to vote. Fourteen states now have such laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
There’s no charge for the IDs in Tennessee. But officials at the Murfreesboro testing station told the Campbells an ID for Phyllis would involve too much paperwork and they should pay at least $8 to renew her driver’s license, Lee Campbell testified.