93-Year-Old Woman Fights Her Way To State Supreme Court, Just So She Can Vote
6:15 pm, August 16th | by Diana Gerstacker
Ninety-three-year-old Pennsylvania resident Viviette Applewhite said she has voted in almost every presidential election since turning 21. She has led a politically active life, even marching with Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement. She values America’s democratic process, but she doesn’t expect to cast a vote this November. The new voter ID law would prevent her from voting, so she’s taken up a lawsuit against her home state.
The law requires a voter show identification at the poll. The problem she faces, in short, is that her birth certificate, social security card and all other important documents were in a purse that was stolen, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, which chronicled this bizarre story. (And really, why would you tote all those documents around with you? Frankly, this begs the question, could someone be voting on her behalf?)
The statistics on voter fraud aren’t always as substantive as one would hope. But an article by U.S. News highlighted difficulties in a recent Florida election, which mirror those in Pennsylvania. Election officials said by cross-referencing voter information with driver’s licenses and other documents, they found inconsistencies. Their first check led them to believe 2,600 registered Florida voters were not U.S. citizens. And they looked into another 180,000 registered voters, in hopes to confirm citizenship. They sent letters to the voters, but some say that’s a tactic to diminish democratic votes and silence minorities. The debate on just how prominent fraud is in U.S. election rages on.
Applewhite, for her part, refuses to back down. She’s fought for the right to vote, when others would have given up months ago — and now, according to the Inquirer, her case is on its way to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. (In fact, her case has grown so notorious, that The Washington Post has dubbed her “the face of Pennsylvania voter ID law.”) And in the event you’re concerned Applewhite might not live to see her case succeed, don’t worry: Her uncle reportedly lived to 106.
Featured photo from TPMMuckraker.