'I'll Vote to Give My Opinion' Says Ohio Voter After Securing New ID


'I'll Vote To Give My Opinion' Says Ohio Voter After Securing New ID
Annette Pereira

It had been years since fifty-seven-year-old Annette Pereira had an Ohio ID. 

“I didn’t have all the paperwork I needed to get one,” she explained. To secure identification, Annette first needed a copy of her New York City birth certificate and a Social Security card, neither of which she had. 

Without an ID, there was a lot Annette couldn’t do. “I couldn’t get government assistance or go to the doctor,” she said. 

She also could no longer vote. 

In 2023, Ohio implemented a strict voter ID law requiring all Ohioans to provide an unexpired photo identification to cast a ballot. 

Luckily, Annette walked into a local community center and learned about VoteRiders. “The community center was giving out clothes, food, all kinds of stuff,” said Annette. A VoteRiders volunteer was also there to offer free voter ID information and assistance

Annette picked up one of VoteRiders’ Ohio Voter ID Information Cards, a pocket-sized guide to what types of IDs are accepted to vote in Ohio. The VoteRiders volunteer let her know that if she called the Helpline number listed on the back of the card, VoteRiders would help get her a new state identification for free. 

A few days later, a team of VoteRiders volunteers jumped on Annette’s case. 

Applying for a birth certificate can be a complicated process without ID, so VoteRiders enlisted a pro bono lawyer to lend a hand. First VoteRiders arranged a Zoom video conference between Annette and a New York City-based lawyer at a local library in Cleveland, Ohio. During the video conference, the lawyer took a picture of Annette to confirm her identity and helped her apply for a copy of her New York City birth certificate. 

Once Annette had successfully obtained a copy of her birth certificate, it was time to track down her medical records so she could secure a new Social Security card. VoteRiders arranged for a free Uber to take Annette to and from the Social Security Office to complete this step. 

In a few days, it will be time for Annette to secure her new ID at the BMV. VoteRiders helped Annette schedule the BMV appointment and will arrange another Uber ride to get her there and back. When Annette gets to the BMV, another VoteRiders volunteer will be there to make sure everything runs smoothly. 

Thanks to all the people who rallied behind her, Annette will soon have the ID she needs to receive government benefits and medical care. She will also have the ability to vote in the Ohio primaries on March 19. 

“I’ll vote to give my opinion,” she said. 

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