Local/State

Voters without photo ID get help from local coalition

Friday, August 17, 2012

The court ruling validating the new voter ID law in Pennsylvania is being appealed, but for now, voters will have to make sure they have a valid picture ID if they want to vote on Election Day.

Even the plaintiff in the case is getting prepared.

Viviette Applewhite had been the 93 year old poster child of the legal battle against Pennsylvania's voter ID law, but Thursday, she went to a PennDOT photo center and got her photo ID.

"I'm very pleased about, because I have been trying to get it for over four or five years," says Viviette.

Viviette was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit filed by the ACLU to overturn the law requiring photo ID's for registered voters.

That case is now being appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Viviette recently managed to get a copy of her birth certificate and that was enough to get a temporary ID, even though PennDOT also requires a social security card.

The ACLU says it is happy for Viviette, but says thousands of others aren't so lucky, and it would be nice if PennDOT relaxed the rules for all of them.

PennDOT says it does make exceptions on a case by case basis.

Viviette is just happy she'll get to cast a ballot in November.

"It means a lot because I think it takes people's rights away from them. If you can't vote, I think you are taking my rights away from me," said Viviette.

No matter what happens in court, the ground battle continues.

At the Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition, they are planning an all out blitz, starting Saturday, to get photo ID's into as many hands as possible.

"We're focusing on the wards and divisions that we know have the highest numbers according to the PennDOT information," said Bob Previd, Voter ID Coalition.

The coalition estimates 187,000 registered voters in Philadelphia don't have photo ID's.

300 volunteers will be going door-to-door Saturday offering to help them get those ID's.

Jonel Scott has already received the message.

"I heard, so that's why I am here to change my address and to get my ID so that I can vote," said Jonel.

And Viviette Applewhite will be there with her.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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election, philadelphia, local/state, david henry
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