Ruthelle Frank

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Editorials: Should the Supreme Court Have Accepted a Challenge to Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law? | Ari Berman/The Nation

Ruthelle Frank, an 87-year-old resident of Brokaw, Wisconsin, has voted in every presidential election since 1948. But after the passage of Wisconsin’s voter-ID law in 2011, she became one of 300,000 registered voters in the state without the required ID. Frank was paralyzed on the left side of her body at birth and doesn’t have a driver’s license or birth certificate. Her name is misspelled in Wisconsin’s Register of Deeds, an error that would cost hundreds of dollars to correct. These circumstances led Frank to become the lead plaintiff in a challenge to Wisconsin’s voter-ID law. That law was blocked in state and federal court for the 2012 election and struck down in May 2014 following a full trial, only to be reinstated by a panel of Republican judges on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit less than two months before the 2014 election. The Supreme Court prevented the law from taking effect for the 2014 election, but only on a temporary basis. After the election, voting rights advocates asked the high court to consider the full merits of the case. Today, the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal. As a result, Wisconsin’s voter-ID law—among the most restrictive in the country—will be allowed to go into effect.

Full Article: Should the Supreme Court Have Accepted a Challenge to Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law? | The Nation.

Wisconsin: State will enact voter ID law denounced as ‘recipe for chaos’ | The Guardian

A controversial voter ID law in Wisconsin, which critics fear will disenfranchise thousands of voters in the November midterm elections, must be implemented after a federal appeals court turned down a request to re-hear a legal challenge. The seventh circuit court of appeals in Chicago declined to take up the application to hear the challenge before its full panel of judges. On 12 September, three judges stayed an injunction issued by a district court that had prevented the law’s implementation. With less than six weeks to go until the 4 November midterms, voter-rights advocates fear chaos as people rush to get the required identification, and confusion at the polls as election workers and voters struggle with the new rules. Previous testimony in the case indicated that about 300,000 people who had previously been eligible to vote will have difficulty obtaining the identification now needed to cast their ballots. The plaintiffs in the voter ID cases include Ruthelle Frank, the League of United Latin American Citizens of Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, and the Advancement Project.

Full Article: Wisconsin will enact voter ID law denounced as 'recipe for chaos' | World news | theguardian.com.

National: Curtailed Voting Rights Act To Be Tested In Disenfranchisement Lawsuits Across US | MintPress News

In Wisconsin, the first test of the Voting Rights Act post-Shelby County v. Holder is underway. Since the controversial ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in June — in which the court ruled that the federal preclearance formula used to prevent racist voter suppression in certain states and communities is dated and unconstitutional — nine states have moved to introduce stricter voting laws — including harsher requirements for voter identification, restrictions on absentee and early voting and limiting access to voting places. Wisconsin is the first state the Justice Department has sued under Section 2 of the VRA, which prohibits states from limiting voting access to federally recognized protected groups and permits the Justice Department to file suit on the basis of racial, ethnic, age, gender, sexual preference or disability discrimination at the polling place. Wisconsin passed a law requiring a state-issued photo ID be presented in order to vote. This, in turn, would require a birth certificate, which many minorities do not have access to. Additionally, out-of-state college students might not have access to a state ID. … In one of the two challenges being heard, the American Civil Liberties Union argues that Ruthelle Frank, an 86-year-old resident of Brokaw, Wis., and a member of the Brokaw Village Board since 1996, is being unfairly discriminated against because — although the state Register of Deeds bears a record of her live birth — the record has her maiden name incorrectly spelled. As a result, all of her vital certifications would be inadequate under the law toward obtaining a voting ID, while correcting the error would be costly for an elderly woman on a fixed budget. The ACLU argues that the Wisconsin law places Frank under an undue financial burden in order to exercise her right to vote.

Full Article: Curtailed Voting Rights Act To Be Tested In Disenfranchisement Lawsuits Across US.

Voting Blogs: Wisconsin Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeals of Both Injunctions on GOP Polling Place Photo ID Law | BradBlog

On Monday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued two one-sentence orders declining to hear both appeals filed by Republican state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen in two different polling place Photo ID cases. In both, judges in lower courts had blocked the controversial voting rights restrictions passed by Republicans last year, finding that the law violated the state Constitution’s guaranteed right to vote. Republicans had hoped to overturn the temporary injunction placed on the law by Dane County Circuit David Judge Flanagan in Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Walker and the permanent injunction issued by Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Neiss a week later in League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Network, Inc. v. Walker.

Full Article: The BRAD BLOG : WI Supremes Decline to Hear Appeals of Both Injunctions on GOP Polling Place Photo ID Law.

Wisconsin: Voter ID requirement: The face of voter suppression and discrimination | allvoices.com

Meet Ruthelle Frank an 84 year old woman living in Wisconsin. She is one of millions of people who are at risk of losing their right to vote in November as result of wide-ranging state by state efforts to deny people the access to vote. The good news is that after ten months of advocacy by the American Civil Liberties Union, she was able to vote last Tuesday in Wisconsin, but her fight isn’t over yet. A Wisconsin judge declared a state law requiring people to show photo ID in order to be allowed to vote unconstitutional before the primary, issuing a permanent injunction blocking the state from implementing the measure. “Without question, where it exists, voter fraud corrupts elections and undermines our form of government,” wrote Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess in his decision. “The legislature and governor may certainly take aggressive action to prevent its occurrence. But voter fraud is no more poisonous to our democracy than voter suppression. Indeed, they are two heads on the monster.”

Full Article: Voter ID requirement: The face of voter suppression and discrimination.

National: Santorum: ‘The Only Reason You Don’t Have A Voter ID Is You Want To Continue To Perpetrate Fraud’ | ThinkProgress

To Rick Santorum, the more than 23 million American voters who don’t have a government-issued photo ID aren’t potential victims of disenfranchisement. The presidential hopeful uses a different name: perpetrators of fraud. ThinkProgress spoke with the Republican presidential hopeful about voter ID laws — which require that citizens present a certain form of photo identification or they are barred from voting — during a campaign stop in Milwaukee last weekend. Santorum said that he supports such laws because, as he states it, “the only reason you don’t have a voter ID is you want to continue to perpetrate fraud.” He went on to dismiss the notion that anyone might not have access to a voter ID, saying that “it’s not a problem.” Santorum’s claim falls somewhere in the murky world between audacity and lunacy. More than one in ten Americans lack a government-issued photo ID. These people are not committing voter fraud — indeed, voter fraud is rarer than getting struck by lightning — they are potentially having their right to vote stripped away. Santorum appears to have confused the disenfranchisees with the disenfranchisers.

Full Article: Santorum To ThinkProgress: 'The Only Reason You Don't Have A Voter ID Is You Want To Continue To Perpetrate Fraud' | ThinkProgress.

Wisconsin: Obstacles to voting are becoming apparent | Jim Bowman/Appleton Post Crescent

Wisconsin citizens who may be turned away from their polling places in the next election are beginning to share their stories. Ruthelle Frank has voted in every election since 1948 but she’s no longer eligible. Wisconsin’s voter ID law requires a photo ID for voting and a birth certificate is needed to obtain the photo ID.

Born in 1927, Ruthelle has never had a birth certificate. Her name was misspelled at birth and, to obtain a correct birth certificate, she must petition a court at a cost over $200. On her limited income, she can’t afford this amount.

Ruthelle has served on the Brokaw Village Board since 1996. She has a baptism certificate, a Social Security card, a Medicare statement and a checkbook. Without a photo ID, however, Ruthelle can no longer vote and she finds the prospect of being turned away at the polls infuriating.

Full Article: Jim Bowman column: Obstacles to voting are becoming apparent | Appleton Post Crescent | postcrescent.com.

Editorials: Wisconsin voter ID becomes law of unintended consequences | TwinCities.com

Ruthelle Frank was born Aug. 21, 1927, in her home in Brokaw. It was a hard birth; there were complications. A doctor had to come up from Wausau to see that she and her mother made it through. Frank ended up paralyzed on the left side of her body. To this day, she walks with a shuffle and doesn’t have much use of one arm.

Her mother recorded her birth in the family Bible. Frank still has it. A few months later, when Ruthelle was baptized, her mother got a notarized certificate of baptism. She still has that document, too. What she never had – and in 84 years, never needed – was a birth certificate.

But without a birth certificate, Frank cannot get a state ID card. And without a state ID card, according to Wisconsin’s new voter ID law, she won’t be able to vote next year. A diminutive, fiery woman who has voted in every election since 1948 and is an elected official herself, Frank finds the prospect of being turned away from the polls infuriating.

Full Article: Wisconsin voter ID becomes law of unintended consequences - TwinCities.com.

Wisconsin: Yet another case shows how voter ID is hurting citizens | Cap Times

The reports of how the Republican-inspired voter ID law is disenfranchising Wisconsin citizens, particularly the elderly, keep coming in. Last week the Wausau Daily Herald ran a heart-rendering story about 84-year-old Ruthelle Frank of nearby Brokaw, who has not only voted in every election since she turned 21 in 1948, but has served on the Brokaw Village Board for the past 15 years.

Because of a paralysis she suffered at birth, Frank has never had a driver’s license. That being the case, she, like tens of thousands of other Wisconsin residents without licenses, needs to get a so-called state picture ID card so she can go to the polls to exercise what should be her right as an American citizen.

Under the onerous provisions of this new law, which was gleefully signed by Gov. Scott Walker earlier this year, she has to produce a birth certificate to get the ID. Ordinarily it cost her $20 to obtain a birth certificate since she doesn’t have one — something she finds “crazy.” She has a baptism certificate, a Social Security card, a Medicare statement, a checkbook. “I’ve got all this proof. You mean to tell me that I’m not a U.S. citizen? That I don’t live at 123 First St. in Brokaw?” she said. “It’s just stupid.” But, wait, there’s more to the stupidity foisted on Wisconsin citizens by this Republican-led Legislature.

Full Article: Plain Talk: Yet another case shows how voter ID is hurting citizens.

Wisconsin: New voter ID requirements anger voter without birth certificate | Green Bay Press Gazette

Ruthelle Frank was born on Aug. 21, 1927, in her home in Brokaw. It was a hard birth; there were complications. A doctor had to come up from Wausau to see that she and her mother made it through. Frank ended up paralyzed on the left side of her body. To this day, she walks with a shuffle and doesn’t have much use of one arm.

Her mother recorded her birth in the family Bible. Frank still has it. A few months later, when Ruthelle was baptized, her mother got a notarized certificate of baptism. She still has that document, too. What she never had — and in 84 years, never needed — was a birth certificate.

But without a birth certificate, Frank cannot get a state ID card. And without a state ID card, according to Wisconsin’s new voter ID law, she won’t be able to vote next year.

Full Article: New Wisconsin voter ID requirements anger voter without birth certificate | Green Bay Press Gazette | greenbaypressgazette.com.

Wisconsin: Voter ID becomes law of unintended consequences – Local leader faces first election in 60 years without a right to vote | Wausau Daily Herald

Ruthelle Frank was born on Aug. 21, 1927, in her home in Brokaw. It was a hard birth; there were complications. A doctor had to come up from Wausau to see that she and her mother made it through. Frank ended up paralyzed on the left side of her body. To this day, she walks with a shuffle and doesn’t have much use of one arm.

Her mother recorded her birth in the family Bible. Frank still has it. A few months later, when Ruthelle was baptized, her mother got a notarized certificate of baptism. She still has that document, too. What she never had — and in 84 years, never needed — was a birth certificate.

But without a birth certificate, Frank cannot get a state ID card. And without a state ID card, according to Wisconsin’s new voter ID law, she won’t be able to vote next year.

Full Article: Voter ID becomes law of unintended consequences | Wausau Daily Herald | wausaudailyherald.com.