Sarada's Voter ID Story

Sarada's Voter ID Story

Sarada is a high school teacher and mom, and grew up in Illinois. She immigrated to the US when she was just 6 weeks old and became a US citizen when she was eight.  She has been a voter in every election since she turned 18.

Sarada and her family moved to Sun Prairie, WI in 2012. When Wisconsin's strict voter ID law came into effect in 2016, she realized that none of her IDs would be valid for voting. She had an Illinois driver's license, SS card, marriage license, and an expired passport, but the WI DMV asked her to submit her naturalization papers. Her father was unable to find the originals, and when she called Immigration and Naturalization Service, they told her that certified copies would 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. 

"I'm heartbroken. I just felt so stunned and disenfranchised and angry. I should be able to go to my middle school, two blocks from my house, and cast my vote just like every other American."

After months of working with VoteRiders and Dane County local election authorities, Sarada was granted a special waiver to get a temporary voter ID receipt that enabled her to vote in the November 2016 election.

Read more about Sarada's story in this article from Ari Berman of the Nation, and in this segment from of the Today Show on 11/3/ 2016, by NBC investigative correspondent Ronan Farrow: "Are new voter ID laws unfairly blocking people from the polls?"