A Nashville woman was the first to take Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey up on his joking offer to give a ride to anyone who needed transportation to get a new picture identification card to vote. Eileen Marhefka, 65, said an aide to Ramsey dutifully picked her up at her home in East Nashville on Wednesday and shuttled her to the driver service center at Tennessee Tower to get a non-driving ID card. The aide also advised her on how to get the card free of charge.
Ramsey told reporters in September that he would drive anyone to get an ID — so confident was he that the number who lack picture IDs and the means to get one would be small. The comment was made in jest, but Ramsey has said he would stand by the offer.
Marhefka said she had been living without a photo ID for about 11 years, running into problems only periodically at her bank. After finding out about the voter ID law, she said she asked for help from Congressman Jim Cooper’s district office, which in turn told her about Ramsey’s offer. (A Cooper spokesman said they also suggested Marhefka call state Rep. Mike Stewart and state Sen. Thelma Harper, the Democrats who represent her area.)
Marhefka had kind words for the aide who drove her downtown, but she was uncertain whether the voter ID law would suppress fraud, as Ramsey and other supporters have claimed. She noted that voters already have to give their signature, so an imposter would have to go to great lengths just to steal a single vote.
“Who’s going to forge your vote?” she said. “So I don’t know. I do think it will affect Democratic voters more than Republicans.”