VoteRiders' News Roundup includes the story of senior citizens from Alabama who were denied their right to vote last week, along with three older adults in Texas for whom voter ID created an almost impossible burden to voting.
**93-year-old Willie Mims first voted during World War II. Though he has been a consistent voter since FDR was President, Mr. Mims was denied the right to vote in Alabama on June 3 because he no longer drives and has no license or other form of ID. Nor did the poll workers offer him the option of casting a provisional ballot. Mr. Mims is among the 25% of African Americans nationwide without a government-issued photo ID.
**A 92-year-old great-grandmother whose driver's license expired last August was prevented from voting for the first time in the 57 years she has lived in Huntsville. Her friend said, "As we walked in, we were talking about doing our Constitutional duty. She's a very thoughtful citizen." And another opined, "Why is a state-issued driver's license not enough, even if expired, if the person in the photo is clearly identifiable? Is this what the writers of the law intended? She considers voting a privilege and a duty."
Older Adults in Texas
Our next story again shows how voter ID requirements impose burdens on the frail and elderly. Ruby Barber, Dorothy Card and Mary Dina Ansler are 92, 84, and 96 years old, respectively. Texas' voter ID law imposes a maze-like system of verification just to exercise their fundamental right to vote. None of the three has a driver's license.
**For Ms. Ansler, these requirements involved getting a copy of her original birth certificate from 1917, which Michigan authorities did not have; and the certified copy they sent wasn't good enough for the Department of Public Safety (DPS). She was finally able to vote after contacting her Congressman and two different Texas state offices.
**For Mrs. Barber, after an article was published about her plight, and after initially denying her, DPS agreed to work with her to help her obtain her Election Identification Certificate.
VoteRiders leads the nationwide effort to ensure all eligible voters have the necessary documents so they can vote. We are bringing voter ID and related laws to light, helping voters to understand the increasingly complex process of voting, and providing them with the tools they need to obtain the approved form of identification required to cast their ballot. Please keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter!