After 50 and 70 Years of Voting, Two 93-Year-Olds Sue to Keep Right to Vote without Photo ID
Friday, May 11, 2012
Viviette Applewhite (photo: Young Philly Politics)
Viviette Applewhite, 93, of Philadelphia has become the face of a civil liberties lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania for requiring voters to show identification before voting. The new requirement was signed into law by Republican Governor Tom Corbett on March 14.
The wheelchair-bound Applewhite says she has voted since 1960, but won’t be able to do so this November because of the new legal requirement. She doesn’t possess a driver’s license and is unable to obtain a birth certificate from the state, she says, making it impossible for her to show the requisite ID at the polls.
Another 93-year-old plaintiff, Bea Bookler, first voted for Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940. She has the documents needed to obtain a valid photo ID, but state law requires that she present them in person and she is too frail to do so.
Representing Applewhite, Bookler and eight other plaintiffs are the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Color People. They contend the law will disenfranchise tens of thousands of eligible Pennsylvanians who lack ID.
A 2006 survey by the Brennan Center for Justice concluded that about 13 million adult American citizens lack the kind of proof needed to comply with voter ID laws.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
City Woman Is Lead Plaintiff Against Pa. Voter ID (by Amy Worden and Jan Hefler, Philadelphia Inquirer)
Citizens Without Proof: A Survey of Americans’ Possession of Documentary Proof of Citizenship and Photo Identification (Brennan Center for Justice) (pdf)
84-Year-Old Women: Pepper-Sprayed and Losing Right to Vote (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
New State Laws Could Reduce Voter Lists by 5 Million (by David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- U.S. Security Company Seeks Dismissal of Abu Ghraib Torture Charges because Victims were not Allowed to Leave Iraq
- 5 Biggest Banks Gain another Victory in Control of $700 Trillion Derivatives Market
- Is Living in the United States Bad for Your Health?
- Is FBI Running out of Time to Solve Civil Rights Era Cold Cases?
- Alabama City Told Traffic Camera Violators to Appeal to Non-Existent Court