Antonia Preston made a trip to Sumter’s branch of the Department of Motor Vehicles on Wednesday to get an ID but will have to go back today. The 89-year-old Sumterite doesn’t have a birth certificate, she said, and her current state ID expired.
The state DMV hosted “State Identification Card Day” on Wednesday in an effort to get people government-issued IDs so they’re able to vote after the Voter ID law takes effect in November.
Proponents of the law say it’s needed to combat voter fraud, while detractors contend many elderly and rural residents will be disenfranchised because often their births weren’t registered with the state.
Gov. Nikki Haley said rides would be provided to the DMV for disabled residents across the state, but agency spokeswoman Beth Parks said Wednesday only 25 people asked for transportation.
Most of the questions the DMV’s call center was fielding concerned what type of documentation is needed to get an ID, Parks said. For Preston, like many other people her age, she doesn’t have a birth certificate and can’t drive anymore, so her niece Blondell Preston was there to help her out.
Antonia Preston said she has an affidavit from the Department of Health and Environmental Control that a search was made for her birth certificate, but none was recorded. She has a Social Security card and was told Wednesday to return with that card, the affidavit and a bill from a utility company.
“I just feel like it’s not necessary,” Blondell Preston said of the government-issued ID as her aunt slowly made her way back to her niece’s car with the use of a walker. “She can’t drive, but her ID expired, so that’s why we’re here.”