Vote-fraud defenders have been using Viviette Applewhite, a 93-year old Pennsylvania woman whose birth certificate copies were destroyed in two separate house fires, as the “star witness” against Pennsylvania’s new Voter ID law. Her Social Security card was stolen a while ago, and she doesn’t have a drivers’ license. Without either birth certificate or SS card, this sweet old lady would be ruthlessly “disenfranchised,” because she couldn’t get one of the new photographic voter ID cards the state is handing out.
Except… the day after a judge refused to issue a temporary injunction against the voter ID law, Applewhite hopped on a bus, went to the PennDOT center, and got herself an ID card. She apparently did this without consulting the vote-fraud defenders that have been using her as a prop in their legal battles. Now they’ll need a fire hose to clean the egg from their faces.
The Philadephia Inquirer article reads like a horror story for voter ID opponents. The Pennsylvania law grants discretionary powers to Department of Transportation clerks, who are permitted to take the age of the applicant into consideration. Applewhite was not entirely without documentation – she had a 20-year old Medicare card with some illegible numbers, hand-written Department of Public Welfare documents, and some other material that verified her address. One of the biggest sticking points was that her last name had been changed through marriage.
The clerk carefully looked over her paperwork, decided it was good enough, and issued her voter ID card. A delighted Applewhite rode the bus home with her pocketbook open in her lap, gazing fondly at her new ID card, while telling fellow passengers she was “happy as a clam.” When she got home, she gushed to a neighbor, “I didn’t fight for nothing. I fought and got my rights.” She wasn’t trying to shred the duly enacted laws of the state, as part of some huge political drama. She just wanted her voter ID.
The defenders of vote fraud have been reduced to hysterical antics in the wake of Applewhite’s personal triumph. Penda Hair, co-director of something called the “Advancement Project,” sneered that “PennDot was flexible providing the ID without Mrs. Applewhite having the documents required by law. We wonder if that would be the case for someone who wasn’t a lead plaintiff in a lawsuit and the subject of a lot of attention in the press.” But the Inquirer sent a reporter along with Applewhite, and this observer “saw no sign that the clerk recognized her or realized she was a major figure in the battle over the law.”
State ACLU director Witold Walczak’s warned there were “thousands of Ms. Applewhites out there who still don’t have ID. It would be nice if PennDOT relaxed the rules for all of them.” Oooga-booga! There are still monsters under the bed! Trust us!
Walczak is as disingenuous as the defenders of vote fraud always are. As verified by the Inquirer’s observer, the state did not “relax” any rules for Applewhite. It followed the rules, which proved flexible enough to handle the most extreme hard case the ACLU could dig up. Actually, an even better ending for the story would have been issuing a new birth certificate to Applewhite, who said she has been trying unsuccessfully to obtain one for years. It has always been puzzling why these vast, well-funded “civil rights organizations” didn’t use their resources to help her, instead of using her as a puppet in the courtroom.
Well, okay, it’s not “puzzling” at all. I was just being polite. Game, set, and match for voter ID.
Sign up to the Human Events newsletter