An 87- year old woman was refused the right to vote in last week’s Wisconsin presidential primary due to a lack of proper identification as defined by the state’s new voting regulations. Wisconsin’s strict voter identification requirement, which requires a photo and address in order to vote in elections, was signed into law last year by Governor Scott Walker.
While the law was in effect for February’s primary election, it was suspended in March by Dane County County Circuit Judge Richard Neiss, when it was deemed unconstitutional. This caused confusion, however, among poll workers, leading workers at one polling place to refuse the woman’s vote.
The disenfranchisement of the seniors has been a serious consequence of the voter ID laws that have passed in states throughout the country. This is only one of several incidents where elderly voters have been denied the right to vote due to voter identification requirements. Another Wisconsin woman, Ruthelle Frank, 84, had previously voted in every election for the past 63 years. Due to the new voter restrictions, Frank has to pay a fee to purchase a birth certificate from the Wisconsin Government despite the fact that the Constitution forbids charging a fee to constituents for the right to vote.
A study in Wisconsin estimated that 177,399 residents of the state aged 65 or older, 23% of that population, do not have the proper identification for voting.