Dec 5, 2011

84-Year-Old Wisconsin Woman May Need $200 to Cast Legal Vote

Update: State Senator Jim Holperin (D-Eagle River): Birth record free if needed for voter I.D.; Holperin legislation says

Obstructing an 84-Year-Old Wisconsin Woman?

Jim Crowing African Americans in Milwaukee County?


Hey, Republican Party, is this what you really want to be in our country?

What's next, guys?

Armed guards at the polls? I mean Ms. Frank does look pretty dangerous.

And to the Civil Rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice, you know: Get off your ass and enforce - I don't know - civil rights?

Via Tanya Somanader at ThinkProgress, and Brad Friedman

Brokaw, Wisconsin - Population 310
For 63 years, Brokaw, Wisconsin [Northern Wisconsin, population-310] native Ruthelle Frank went to the polls to vote. Though paralyzed on her left side since birth, the 84-year-old “fiery woman” voted in every election since 1948 and even got elected herself as a member of the Brokaw Village Board. But because of the state’s new voter ID law, 2012 will be the first year Frank can’t vote. Born after a difficult birth at her home in 1927, Frank never received an official birth certificate. Her mother recorded it in her family Bible and Frank has a certification of baptism from a few months later, along with a Social Security card, a Medicare statement, and a checkbook. But without the official document, she can’t secure the state ID card that the new law requires to vote next year.“It’s really crazy,” she added. “I’ve got all this proof. You mean to tell me that I’m not a U.S. citizen?” But state officials have informed Frank that, because the state Register of Deeds does have a record of her birth, they can issue her a new birth certificate — for a fee. And because of a spelling error, that fee may be as high as $200

Add Frank's to the stories of 96-year old Dorothy Cooper in TN who has voted in every election since woman were granted the right to vote, but who may longer be able to cast her vote on Election Day next year, and 86-year old WWII veteran Darwin Sparks in the same state; along with hundreds of thousands of others who are likely to find themselves unable to cast their legal vote on Election Day next year thanks to new voter suppression laws implemented in about a dozen states by GOP legislatures and governor's since they took control in 2010.

In Wisconsin, where "an estimated 177,399 Wisconsin residents 65 and older do not have a driver’s license or state photo ID — 23 percent of that population", and where Frank may have to pay as much as $200 to cast her legal vote under the GOP's new anti-democratic and anti-Democratic polling place Photo ID restrictions, the non-partisan League of Women Voters has filed suit charging the law to be in violation of the state's constitution, as The BRAD BLOG detailed in October. That case is still pending.

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