The day after a judge upheld Pennsylvania’s new voter identification law, the lead plaintiff in the suit seeking to block the law went to a PennDot office and was issued the photo ID card she needs to vote.
Nothing has changed since Viviette Applewhite, 93, testified in July. The law stands. She still doesn’t have a driver’s license or Social Security card. The name on her birth certificate is still different from the name on her other documents – all of which, under the law, should have barred her from getting her photo ID.
But at precisely 1:16 p.m. Thursday, she got it anyway.
“You just have to keep trying,” said Applewhite, who uses an electric wheelchair. “Don’t give up.”
State officials called it an unplanned exercise in what they’ve been saying for weeks: Clerks behind counters at Pennsylvania Department of Transportation centers can take age and other factors into consideration when granting exceptions to the list of documents the law requires, licensing bureau director Janet Dolan said.
“PennDot has said all along that they would work with folks on a case-by-case basis,” said Ron Ruman, a Department of State spokesman.
Call it the Applewhite rule.