Voter ID Client Bios

Viviette Applewhite

Viviette Applewhite, 93, Philadelphia Ms. Applewhite is an African-American woman born in 1919 in Philadelphia. Ms. Applewhite worked as a welder during World War II in the Sun Shipyard in Chester, Pennsylvania. Ms. Applewhite married and raised a daughter who for decades worked for various federal, Pennsylvania, and municipal government agencies. Now a widow, Ms. Applewhite has lived in Philadelphia for more than twenty years and enjoys five grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren. She has voted in nearly every election since at least 1960. Ms. Applewhite marched to support civil rights for African-Americans with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Macon, Georgia, and traveled on several occasions to hear him preach in Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church. Ms. Applewhite does not have and has been unable to obtain photo identification required by Pennsylvania's voter photo ID law and thus after voting at nearly every election for more than 50 years will be unable to cast a ballot this November.

Wilola Lee, 59,Philadelphia Ms. Lee is an African-American woman born in rural Wilkerson County, Georgia. She was raised by her grandmother, who moved her to Philadelphia in 1957, where she has lived ever since. Ms. Lee finished the eleventh grade, married, and raised two children, one of whom is a former school principal and now works for the Pennsylvania state government. Ms. Lee worked for the Philadelphia Public Schools for many years, including work with special needs children. Her husband passed away six years ago. Ms. Lee has been voting for decades and worked as a poll worker in the city of Philadelphia. She has been trying for nearly ten years to get a birth certificate that she will need to get a photo ID to vote, but the state of Georgia has told her they have no record of her birth. Ms. Lee does not have and has been unable to obtain photo identification required by Pennsylvania's Photo ID Law, and thus after voting in nearly every election for more than 30 years, she will be unable to do so in November.

Grover Freeland, 72, Philadelphia Mr. Freeland is an African-American man born in Buffalo, NY. He is a U.S. Army Veteran who was drafted in 1964 and served two years stateside before being honorably discharged. He thereafter graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters degree from Philadelphia's University of the Arts. Mr. Freeland worked many jobs over the years, including in his own photography businesses, until 2004, when he retired. He is formerly married and has five children. He believes that if a person is good enough to put his life on the line in the army then he should be able to vote. Mr. Freeland has not had a drivers' license since the 1980's. His only photo ID card is what is known as a "veterans card," which is issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. While it contains encoded information on sensitive matters, like his medical records, the card is not recognized as valid by Pennsylvania's voter photo ID Law. Mr. Freeland has tried unsuccessfully to retrieve his birth certificate, which he will need to get a photo ID acceptable to vote, from the state of New York. Consequently, come November this veteran of the U.S. Armed Services will be unable to show the requisite identification and will not be able to vote.

Gloria Cuttino, 61, Philadelphia Ms. Cuttino is an African-American woman who was born in Summerville, South Carolina. She moved to Philadelphia at a young age. Ms. Cuttino's mother died when she was sixteen, leaving Ms. Cuttino alone to care for her three younger brothers and sisters. Forced by these circumstances to drop out of school, the teenage Ms. Cuttino began working at a commercial laundry to support the family. Ms. Cuttino raised four children, one of whom is a Philadelphia police officer, and now has ten grandchildren. She has over the years worked on behalf of local candidates for elected office. She has been trying for over one year to get her birth certificate, which she needs to get a ID, from South Carolina, which has told her they have no birth record. She has recently worked with a pro bono lawyer, who has determined that the only way to now get a "delayed" birth certificate is to seek census and other records, which will cost approximately $100, and to then employ an attorney in South Carolina to petition the court. Unless enforcement of the photo ID Law is enjoined, Ms. Cuttino will not be able to vote in November.

Nadine Marsh, 84, Beaver County Ms. Marsh is a Caucasian woman who was born in suburban Pittsburgh in 1928. She was the second oldest of ten children and her father worked for Bethlehem Steel. She married her high school sweetheart and then devoted herself to raising three children. Ms. Marsh never drove a car and thus has never had a driver's license. She and other family members have over the years tried to get her birth certificate that she will need to get a photo ID from Pennsylvania. They have gone in person to the Pittsburgh office of the Division of Vital Records, where they have obtained other family members' birth certificates, but have been told that a birth certificate does not exist for Ms. Marsh. Without an identification considered acceptable under Pennsylvania's voter photo ID Law, or the ability to obtain one, Ms. Marsh will be prevented from voting in November.

Dorothy Barksdale, 86, Philadelphia Ms. Barksdale is an African-American woman born at home by a midwife in rural Halifax County, Virginia in 1926. She cleaned homes for many years to help raise two children, both of whom are now deceased. After Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Ms. Barksdale worked as a poll official in Philadelphia. She has not missed voting in a single election since at least 2001. But Ms. Barksdale has no photo ID acceptable under the photo ID Law. She has never driven and thus has not needed a driver's license. She and her niece have tried for three years to obtain a birth certificate from the state of Virginia, which now has advised them that they have no birth record.

Bea Bookler, 93, Chester County Ms. Bookler is a Caucasian woman born in Philadelphia in 1918. Graduating from Philadelphia's Overbrook High School at the height of the Depression, Ms. Bookler was forced to get a job to earn money and could not go to college. She worked as a secretary until she married a World War II veteran in 1945. She raised two children and now also has two grandchildren. Ms. Bookler was widowed in 2006 and now lives in an assisted living facility in Devon, Chester County. Ms. Bookler has voted regularly since casting her first ballot for Franklin Roosevelt in 1940. She has now grown frail with age. Going to the polls to vote twice a year is difficult for Ms. Bookler, but it is so important to her that these are two of only a handful of excursions away from her assisted-living facility that she has mustered the energy to take in recent years. Ms. Bookler does not presently have a photo ID acceptable under Pennsylvania's photo ID law. While she has the official documents necessary to get a valid ID from PennDOT, to actually get that ID she must go to the nearest PennDOT Driver's License Center about ten miles from her home. Doing so would require her to arrange transportation and would be an enormous physical hardship. Unfortunately, because she neither has nor can get an ID acceptable under Pennsylvania's voter photo ID law, she will not be able to vote in November, an election she believes may be her last.

Joyce Block, 89, Bucks County Ms. Block is a Caucasian woman born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1922. She became a professional chorus girl at age sixteen, and played, among many other roles, in the original Broadway cast of Rogers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma. At age twenty-one she married Carl Block, a lifelong musician who played in "Big Bands," and together they opened and ran several candy and ice-cream stores and raised six children while living in New York, New Jersey and, since 1973, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Now a widow, Ms. Block's six children have given her 14 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Ms. Block has voted in nearly every election since 1944, and has not missed a vote in at least the past ten years. She instilled a civic-mindedness in her children, all of whom are politically active, and voting is extremely important to the entire family. Ms. Block has never driven or had a PennDOT-issued identification. PennDOT officials advised her that she could not get a photo ID card because her birth certificate and Social Security card were in her maiden name while her voter registration was in her married name, and the mismatch precluded issuance of an ID. Ms. Block's only documentation of marriage, which she brought with her, is a marriage certificate written in Hebrew. The DMV clerks could not understand the certificate and refused to accept it as proof of her name change. Unlike many other Pennsylvania voters who do not have and cannot obtain voter ID, Ms. Block is fortunate to have political connections. Her family reached out to to the office of her state senator for assistance. His office worked with PennDOT to obtain a temporary voter ID for Ms. Block.

Henrietta Kay Dickerson, 75 Pittsburgh Ms. Dickerson is an African-American woman born in Chatham, Louisiana, in 1936. Her mother brought her to Pittsburgh when she was an infant. Ms. Dickerson has been a lifelong resident of the city's Hill District. She has an adult son and two grandsons. Ms. Dickerson worked for more than forty years as a nurse at Pittsburgh's Magee Women's Hospital. Ms. Dickerson has been voting her entire adult life, missing elections only when she has been very sick. She has not missed voting in an election for more than a decade. Ms. Dickerson had a PennDOT-issued non-driver photo ID, but it expired on May 31, 2011. Not needing the ID for any other reason, she did not renew it. After hearing about the new voter photo ID law, Ms. Dickerson realized she would need to renew her PennDOT ID. She spent several hours gathering necessary documents for a trip to a PennDOT Driver's License Center in downtown Pittsburgh on April 18, 2012. Despite the state's promise that people could get photo ID cards free for voting purposes, the personnel at the DMV refused to give Ms. Dickerson a free card, insisting that she pay $13.50, which she did. They told her that she could not get a free ID because her old one had not been expired for more than a year, even though it would not be valid on election day in November. Since Ms. Dickerson does not need the ID for any reason but to vote, the fee is tantamount to a poll tax.

Devra Mirel ("Asher") Schor, 22, Pittsburgh Mr. Schor is a transgender man (female to male) registered voter in Pennsylvania who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2011 from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. He works as a paralegal for a public interest law firm that provides civil rights assistance to Pennsylvania prisoners. Assigned a female sex at birth, Mr. Schor began medical transition with a bi-lateral mastectomy in December 2010. He has been undergoing hormone therapy (testosterone) since October 2011. He does not currently plan to have more surgery, but the hormone therapy will continue indefinitely. Mr. Schor expects to formally change his name and gender identity after the transitioning process is further along, which will not be before the November election. Mr. Schor has two forms of photo ID acceptable under the new voter photo ID law - a current passport and driver's license - but in both he looks like a woman and is identified as "female." He now looks and presents like a man.Given the stark and obvious difference in appearance and gender designation between Mr. Schor's identification documents and his current appearance, Mr. Schor has a very real and legitimate concern that poll workers will refuse to allow him to vote on election day in November when the person in his ID photos looks so different from the person who comes to vote.

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