World War II veteran Darwin Spinks is wondering why he had to pay $8 to get a voter photo ID that should have been free when he recently went to the driver’s license testing center here. The state Legislature passed a law this spring requiring voters to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. It included the requirement that any Tennessee resident who didn’t have a photo ID could get one free of charge.
But when the 86-year-old Spinks visited the testing center about a month ago on Samsonite Boulevard to get a photo ID for voting purposes, he said he had to pay.
Spinks said Tuesday he needed the photo because when his driver’s license with a photo expired the last time, the driver testing center issued him a new license without a photo on it. State law allows people over 60 to get a non-photo driver’s license.
The retired print shop worker who moved here 17 years ago said he told people at the driver center he wanted an ID for voting purposes. He was sent from one line to another to have a picture taken, then was charged.
“I said, ‘You mean I’ve got to pay again?’ She says, ‘Yes,'” explained Spinks, a resident of County Farm Road, who was stationed on the USS Goshen in World War II and was called to duty again for the Korean War.
“I served my country in two wars. Most of that fighting blood was gone after World War II,” he said.
Tennessee has 126,000 registered voters over age 60 who have non-photo driver’s licenses, according to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.