"I feel there is a strategy to keep minorities and older people from voting,' the 93-year-old said, according to court transcripts. "Most of us who migrated to Northern states do not have birth certificates, a prerequisite for obtaining the photo ID required to vote. I’ve been voting since the 1940′s when I voted for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It would be devastating to lose the right to vote now, after all these years.'Hutchins testified in the case, League of United Latin American Citizens of Wisconsin v. Deininger (Case 2:12-cv-00185), one of two cases in the consolidated voting rights trial.
Hutchins was born at home in Mississippi because hospitals at that time did not accept black patients, and she did not receive a birth certificate.
Katherine Clark, Hutchins’ daughter, spent over $2,000 and several years to obtain birth certificates for both herself and her mother.
The League case is the first trial in the country post-Shelby County v. Holder using Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Act (Section 4) last summer, as noted by The Advancement Project.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he sees "no barriers" to voting; but $2,000 might not seem like a lot of money for Walker whose own salary, healthcare and pension have been funded by taxpayers since 1993.
Writes Healey: "Having watched her family brave angry mobs while trying to vote in Mississippi in the 1920′s, Ms. Hutchins now faces a more subtle, yet no less harmful, barrier to the ballot box," said Advancement Project Staff Attorney Leigh Chapman.
The potentially landmark voting rights trial in Milwaukee is expected to last about another week.