IDville Blog | Lead plaintiff in Pennsylvania ID case acquires photo ID

Lead plaintiff in Pennsylvania ID case acquires photo ID

by Admin 17. August 2012 14:26

The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging the Pennsylvania state requirement for all voters to bear a photo identification card in order to cast ballots acquired her photo ID on Thursday, according to a published report.

One day after a state judge preserved the new voter identification law and rejected the challenge filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Viviette Applewhite, 93, journeyed to a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation office and acquired what she needs to cast a ballot, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The law she testified against last month still remains remains in place yet she still has no driver's license. Neither does she hold a Social Security card. And the name cited on her birth certificate does not match that cited on her other documents.

The law states she should not have been granted a photo ID because of the difference in those names.

However, Applewhite went to the PennDot office in her motorized wheelchair and acquired a temporary photo identification card on Thursday, the publication reports. A permanent one will be mailed to her within 15 days.

"You just have to keep trying," Applewhite told the news source. "Don't give up."

Officials with the state said Applewhite's acquisition of a photo ID card fit perfectly with what the agency has long stated. Members of the staff at the centers for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation take into consideration age and additional factors when permitting exceptions to the list of documents that are required by the law, according to director Janet Dolan with the licensing bureau.

"PennDot has said all along that they would work with folks on a case-by-case basis," spokesman Ron Ruman with the Department of State told the news source.

When news of Applewhite's ability to acquire the photo identification card reached the lawyers challenging the state law, many responded with skepticism.

The law was challenged because of an alleged unfair burden it placed on the elderly, the poor and the young.

"PennDot was flexible providing the ID without Mrs. Applewhite having the documents required by law," co-director Penda Hair with the Advancement Project told the news source. "We wonder if that would be the case for someone who wasn't a lead plaintiff in a lawsuit and the subject of a lot of attention in the press."

The Associated Press reports attorneys who represented Applewhite and the other plaintiffs happened to have filed an appeal to the state judge's ruling on the same day Applewhite acquired the temporary ID.

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