Voter ID Stories

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Sarada is a teacher and mom, and has been a US citizen since she was 8 years old. She had an Illinois ID and proof of Wisconsin residency, but not a copy of her naturalization papers, which cost $345 and take up to two years. She wanted to vote, but couldn't find a way to comply with Wisconsin's strict voter ID law.

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Scott and Betty 

Scott and Betty are Wisconsin voters who have been married for 30 years. They didn't know they would need a photo ID to vote until they saw a poster with VoteRiders' helpline number at their local food pantry.

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Voter ID Story - Jose


Jose grew up in Milwaukee and is currently homeless. His wallet was stolen with his state ID and Social Security Card in it. He met VoteRiders’ Molly McGrath at First United Methodist Church and told her he didn't know where the nearest DMV was, or how to go about getting there.  

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Dennis Hatten

Veteran Dennis Hatten was initially denied an ID to vote by the Milwaukee DMV because his birth certificate had a mistake. It took 6 months of persistence with VoteRiders' Anita Johnson before Dennis was finally able to vote. 

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Debra voter story preview


Debra is a lifelong Madison resident and lung cancer survivor. She no longer drives, and had let her WI driver’s license expire.

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Profile of Alberta Currie, lead plaintiff in the Southern Coalition for Social Justice's lawsuit battling NC's restrictive Voter ID requirement.

Producers: Mandie Sellars ( and Jeremy Collins (
Video: Mark Manring (


See how Texas passed a discriminatory law that would have denied Victoria Rose Rodriguez, a college student in San Antonio, the right to vote.

Video provided by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.


A South Carolina man talks about voting and the issues he would have getting a state-mandated voter ID. Also featuring Dr. Brenda Williams of The Family Unit.

Footage provided by Fox Network in Columbia, SC.


Bettye Jones and her daughter Debra Crawford, detail the long struggle to get a Wisconsin photo ID for Bettye, who was born in the segregated south and never issued a birth certificate.

Video provided by the Advancement Project, and produced by Stanley Nelson Production.

Raymond Rutherford

Like many in the pre-Civil Rights-era South, Raymond Rutherford was born in his home in Sumter County, South Carolina. The midwife who delivered him misspelled his first name and put his mother's maiden name as his last name on his birth certificate. His voter registration card, tax returns and pay stubs all bear his correct name. Because of the discrepancy between these records and his birth certificate, Raymond couldn’t get the ID he needed to vote without obtaining a delayed birth certificate. In order to secure a delayed birth certificate, Raymond would need the services of an attorney, which he certainly couldn't afford. Fortunately for Raymond, he was able to get help from Dr. Brenda Williams’ organization, The Family Unit, a nonprofit whose mission includes the encouragement of voter participation. Obtaining a delayed birth certificate can take many months, even years. Like the other citizens we've highlighted, Raymond has voted in every election since he turned 18.

Luckily for Raymond, South Carolina's voter ID law was suspended until 2013 so he was able to vote last month.