WWII veteran turned away from polls after losing photo ID - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

WWII veteran turned away from polls after losing photo ID

Posted: Updated:

COLLEGEDALE, TN. (WRCB)  --  Vernon Herod, 84, of Collegedale, served his country in World War II. His patriotism is proudly displayed around his home.

"It means a whole lot to me to be an American and to be able to vote in a country where we still have freedom," says Herod.  

He's voted in every election since, "because it was part of my life," Herod says.  

For 50 years he's voted at the City Hall precinct in Collegedale. You can say he's become a regular, and Super Tuesday was no different.

"It's the same lady that I encounter every time I go in," he explains. "She takes care of the H's."

Herod did know about the new state law and had his photo ID with him, or so he thought.

"I said, 'let me see if I can find my', and I couldn't find it," says Herod. "I just stepped aside and then nobody paid any more attention to me."

He left soon after that. It's the first time he didn't cast a ballot. Instead of helping Herod fill out a provisional ballot or find a location that could provide him a photo ID, Herod says poll workers just told him he couldn't vote and he was turned away.

"Well, you can imagine you felt like you were disowned, disregarded, you felt like you were a second rate citizen I suppose," Herod says. "I never felt that way before." 

"It is frustrating because no one should've been turned away," says Charlotte Mullis-Morgan, Hamilton County Administrator of Elections. 

Herod found his photo ID less than an hour after he left the polls; however, by then his enthusiasm was gone.

"I don't know," he says. "I felt bad and I just didn't feel like going back." 

"I don't know why he slipped through the cracks," Mullis-Morgan says. "I'm sorry."

She says out of the 37,844 voters who cast their ballots on Super Tuesday, only two or three did not have a photo ID.

In the future, she urges anyone who does not have a photo ID to ask to fill out a provisional ballot.

Voters will then have three days to show their photo ID.

Powered by Frankly