My name is Mark Lee. I’m from Williamson County, Franklin. That’s where I was born and raised. We’ve got eleven grandkids and I’ve got four daughters. And I had two sons, but the police killed one of them in 2017. And basically, that’s about it. I try to keep my home intact, try to do what I can to keep myself happy and my wife, and I just try to live my life as godly as I can. We go to church every Sunday and I sing in the choir.
I got sent to prison in ’79, and I got out 2003. So, that’s how I lost my rights and all. But I didn’t know I had lost them until I tried to vote, and they said, “Well, no. If you got a felony, then you can’t vote.” It was kind of confusing to me, because my case is so old. If they pull me over and they run my license, the felony doesn’t even show up because it’s so old.
Why it’s so important to me is because I think my vote would make a difference. It’d be one more person to add on to her numbers, or his numbers. And I feel that I need to get out and vote just like everyone else. That’s my right. Nobody should take that from you because of the mistakes that you made when you were a teenager.
Now, it’s more important for you to get out and vote because of the way the government is. There’s a whole lot of crookedness going on and we need people up there for the people. There’s a whole lot of dividing in the city, and we’re trying to make a difference. People don’t look after people anymore. They’re barely looking after themselves. They’re so worried about what he’s doing or what she’s doing on that side of the track, instead of trying to build and uplift your own community.
Since Mark Lee was convicted between the years of 1973 and 1981, he belongs to a group of people who actually never lost their right to vote. However, when he has tried to vote in Tennessee he has been turned away. He is currently working with organizers from Restore Your Vote to get his voting rights restored.