The story of Dorothy Cooper, a Chattanooga resident who made headlines last year when election officials denied her request for a voter ID, was referenced in Sunday’s season finale of Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series, “The Newsroom.”

Cooper, who was 96 at the time, was featured in a Chattanooga Times Free Press report last October when a clerk denied her request for a voter ID under Tennessee’s new law, despite her having a lease, voter registration card and birth certificate on hand. Cooper’s story went national and quickly became a primary reference for those arguing against the law enacted last year.

Cooper told Monday she was not aware her story had been featured on a national show.

“Hadn’t heard anything about it,” she said, declining to answer any further questions.


According to an HBO synopsis of Sunday’s episode, titled “The Greater Fool,” Cooper became the focus for protagonist anchor Will McAvoy upon his learning of her story.

“Charlie brings in Will’s surly nurse to tell him about her 96-year-old aunt, Dorothy Cooper,” it reads. “She lives in Tennessee and for the first time in 75 years, won’t be able to vote because of new voter ID laws. The nurse wants to know why she hasn’t seen this story on the news . He returns to the newsroom, and the staff prepares to uncover the lies that have been spreading throughout American politics.”

Several Twitter users referenced Cooper’s inclusion in the plot during the show’s broadcast Sunday night. The show did not mention the denouement to Cooper’s story, when she obtained a voter ID and was able to cast her ballot in the state’s presidential primary last March.