A frail 92-year-old woman has earned her right to vote Tuesday after struggling with new voter identification laws sweeping across the U.S. Ruby Barber, a senior citizen in the small town of Bellmead, Texas, had been unable to vote because she could not find her nearly century-old birth certificate that she’d need to obtain a voter ID under a new state law. “I’m sure (my birth) was never reported because I was born in a farmhouse with a coal oil lamp,” Barber, 92, told the Waco (Texas) Tribune. “Didn’t have a doctor, just a neighbor woman come in and (delivered) me.” This was rectified Tuesday when the state was able to verify her citizenship by finding her birthday in a U.S. census taken in the 1940s, Barber’s son Jimmy Denton told the Tribune. Barber also showed her Social Security card, two utility bills and her Medicare card.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement that the office is able to work around such challenges. “If DPS encounters some type of unusal document challenge, we work with the customer to resolve the issue,” the statement said. “That is exactly what happened in this case. DPS is committed to working with our customers and making every effort to meet their EIC needs.”
Barber previously unsuccessfully visited the state’s Department of Public Safety office last week to request the newly required election identification certificate, but was declined after she didn’t have a birth certificate.