For nearly 70 years, Christeen Stone has voted in every election without having to present a document to prove she is a qualified voter. Stone has voted in the same precinct since 1944, when she moved into her Maplewood home. That’s one reason she said she strongly objects to a proposed constitutional amendment that would require Minnesota voters to present photo identification at the polls. “It’s just an insult to people who have voted all their lives,” said Stone, 91. “They’ve been good citizens, and then to go in and be suspects in their own country, I don’t like that.“ Opponents of the constitutional amendment claim the proposed requirement would it make harder, if not impossible, for thousands of people to cast a ballot. They say senior citizens are among those most likely to face hurdles, because many of them cannot readily produce the documents to prove their identity.
Stone said she still has a valid driver’s license. But she does not have a copy of her birth certificate. She tried to obtain one many years ago from the rural Texas county where she was born and was told they didn’t start recording birth certificates until about 1930. Stone, who is campaigning against the amendment for AARP, said she thinks many senior citizens would find it difficult to prove who they are. “People my age, most of them are not in as good health as I am,” Stone said. “They don’t have the strength or the ability to go and try to get all kinds of paperwork done, and so forth, and maybe don’t even have anyone to take them. So, that would be a real problem. It would be a real hassle.” The proposed amendment specifies that the state will provide free identification to eligible voters. But voter ID foes still predict barriers and costs for the elderly.
Full Article: Voter ID foes decry unfairness to seniors.