Voter ID law threatens woman's 66 year voting streak - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Voter ID law threatens woman's 66 year voting streak

BROKAW (WAOW) --  It's still a few more months before the new voter I. D. law goes into effect. But, the changes at the polls are causing some controversy.

Ruthelle Frank has lived in the same house, on the same street for 83 years. Over the years, she says she has never missed an election.

"I can't remember a year I didn't vote," Frank said.

But, the new law requiring voters to show photo I. D. at the polls means her streak may come to an end.

"I have a notarized baptism certificate, a social security card, a marriage license," Frank explained.  But, she's missing her birth certificate.  Frank says she never got one.

"What's a birth certificate going to prove? I'll never get one."

In order to cast her vote, Frank must somehow get a birth certificate. It's required to apply for a state-issued I. D. But, it costs money, and she says she's not willing to pay.

"It's like paying 30 dollars to vote, and you see, I don't think that's right," Frank explains.

State Senator Jim Holperin agrees. Holperin says he is introducing a bill that would waive the birth certificate fee for anyone needing the document to vote.

"It's important so every single person who wants to vote can do that without the expenses associated it," Sen. Holperin said in a phone interview with Newsline 9.

But not everyone thinks the law will be problematic.  Some senior centers have learned about the impacts of the new law from local leaders.  State Senator Pam Galloway, who has supported the law from the beginning, say it's something our state needs.

"It protects voters from voter fraud so when someone legally votes, it protects them from having it taken away," Sen. Galloway told Newsline 9 in a phone interview.

But Frank says not having a photo I. D. is not going to stop her from casting her vote.

"I will fight to the very end," Frank says.

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