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Voter Suppression Hits Brokaw, Wisconsin

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Published on Dec 19, 2011

Ruthelle Frank, 84, of Brokaw, Wisc., has been voting since 1948, but she doesn't have a birth certificate, and under Wisconsin's new voter suppression law she's unable to obtain an ID so that she can vote.

Transcript:

[first notes of "The Star-Spangled Banner" play] [energetic percussive music] - This is not a voter ID bill. This is voter suppression. It's voter disenfranchisement. This is voter confusion. This is voter restriction. - By the time, Mr. President, the Senators in the outer ring are done with the session, it's gonna be easier to carry a concealed weapon than it will be to register to vote in the state of Wisconsin. That's a simple fact. - Shut up. Uh, the question before the House is concurrent. The clerk will call the roll. [people talking indistinctly] [bangs gavel] You're out of order. Take your seat! Continue the roll call. We have 19 aye's, 5 no's. The bill is concurred, and Senator... - [singing] I need a role in this... - Radical. Remember those words. Today, Republicans in the state senate rammed through their highly restrictive voter ID bill. The measure requires voters to show a voter ID when they're heading to the polls. And you who it's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt the young, the poor, minorities... - I've went all these years without a birth certificate. Well, now I start reading in the newspaper, you know, that this-- the new was gonna be that we had to have a card, and that there was five items that you had to have to qualify. So then I just took-- I took my baptism certificate, and marriage license, Social Security card, and I went down to the Motor Vehicle Department and got--they might just well say, "Throw it out." I told them right out that I did not have a birth certificate, and she didn't say anything that-- you know, that I couldn't go on or anything. And then I went to the next station and when I handed my baptism certificate to her, she just took it and left it lay on the table and picked up and handed it back to me and she said it isn't legal. I enjoy it. I really do. Because you find out all of what's going on, you know what the village has to put up with, and what the expenses are and what you can expect and everything. My salary from the day that I have started has-- I've been purchasing Christmas decorations. I've always enjoyed Christmas decorations. That's what we do at Christmas, is go from place to place and view the lights. That's our fun time. I could get a birth certificate for the $20, but then, after that, I don't still know if it would be what the Motor Vehicle Department wants. I've been told that my father's last name is spelled wrong on it, my mother's first name is spelled wrong. So I don't know exactly how much of it is right or wrong. So then, if there's any other changes that they want, well, then we have to start paying, and I was told it could be up to $200 that we would-- might have to pay to make-- for me to have a correct birth certificate. So I may lose it. I may never vote again. I don't know. I hope not. But I mean, I... I just don't agree with it. I think it's foolish. - This is not a voter ID bill. - By the time... - This is voter suppression. - The outer ring are done... - This is voter disenfranchisement. [all talking at once] - The question before the House is concurrent. The clerk will call the roll. [energetic percussive music] - [singing] Am I-- Am I still tough enough...

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