Last week, opponents of voter ID laws — the easiest and most common-sense method to safeguard against identity theft at the ballot box — received a one-two punch in Pennsylvania that should put their crusade against the security measure down for the count.
On August 15, a Pennsylvania judge upheld the Commonwealth’s new law requiring one of a plethora of forms of identification — including a driver’s license, accredited school ID, government employee badge and a new voter-specific ID, among others — be used at a polling place to certify a voter is who they say they are.
The next day, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit got the ID she needed to vote despite the alleged hurdles her ACLU lawyers said stood in her way.
Viviette Applewhite took two public buses to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation office on her own. In its filing on her behalf, the ACLU insisted the elderly civil rights movement veteran whose purse was stolen years ago and lacks a birth certificate “has been unable to obtain photo identification required by Pennsylvania’s photo ID law” and “will no longer be able to vote.”
Yet a frayed, partially legible Medicare card and copies of correspondence from Pennsylvania’s welfare office and elsewhere was enough for the clerks to give Applewhite the ID she can use to vote in November.
The ACLU, planning to appeal the ruling, is unsure if Applewhite will remain a plaintiff. The answer seems obvious.
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