An 84-Year Old Heroine in the Fight Against GOP Voter Suppression
Ruthelle Frank is one of the true heroes in the fight to keep the Republican Party from passing their new Jim Crow “voter ID” laws, intended to disenfranchise minorities who tend to vote Democratic: At 84, she lacks identification, but not will to fight voter ID law.
Brokaw - The biggest opponent of the state’s new voter ID law just may be an 84-year-old woman who stands less than 5 feet tall, has lived in the same house nearly her entire life and has served on her Village Board since 1996.
Ruthelle Frank doesn’t have a driver’s license, doesn’t have a birth certificate and hasn’t been able to get a state identification card, which means that she could be out of luck the next time she tries to vote.
“The whole thing upsets me,” Frank said Wednesday. “You could live in the U.S. of A., live in the same house all these years and you don’t have the right to vote.”
Frank is a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union against the state over the new law that requires voters to show government-issued photo identification.
The ACLU argues that the measure violates the U.S. Constitution. Republican lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker have expressed confidence the law will stand up to court challenge.
Frank takes the right to vote very seriously.
She said she started voting in 1948 and has rarely missed a chance to cast a ballot since.
For years, Frank said, she didn’t even have to say her name to get a ballot.
“Everybody knows everybody around here,” she said.