I Was In For The Education Of My Life

Register to vote here with flag

The experiences of Brenda Williams and her husband Joseph, physicians in the small town of Sumter, South Carolina, illustrate the challenges that new ID laws pose. The Sun News recently featured their story. For the last 29 years, this couple has signed up their patients to vote. They have collectively registered about 1,000 voters. When the state’s new photo ID law was enacted, they recall, their task seemed simple enough: collect enough money to pay for an individual’s ID, and take that person to go get it. In Brenda’s words, however, “I was in for the education of my life.” Documentation proved to be a major barrier to obtaining IDs. Like many of their rural, lower-income or minority counterparts in the South and elsewhere, many of the Sumter residents had no birth certificates at all. This is because, before the 1970s, many women used midwives. Those midwives may have failed to file birth certificates or filed incomplete or incorrect certificates. This factor helps explain why more than half of South Carolina voters without an ID are 45 years of age or older.

Source: The Leadership Conference On Civil And Human Rights 


More Stories

North Dakota
North Dakota landscape

Terry Yellow Fat shares his home on the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota with his wife, his son and his nephew. 

All four of them, he says, have different

Statue of Liberty

David Waller, who was formerly incarcerated, looked forward to July 2, 2007, when he and his 18-year-old son handed in their voter registration applications together. “I’d like to set a

Moutain and Road

In Navajo Mountain, Utah, there is a small post office in the chapter house that is located in Utah. However, it uses a Tonalea, Arizona zip code because it is