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Pa. Voter ID plaintiff gets card amid appeal

A plaintiff seeking to overturn Pennsylvania's Voter ID law was issued the identification necessary to vote despite lacking appropriate documentation to receive the card.

Viviette Applewhite was issued the temporary card on Thursday, the same day attorneys for her and others opposing the law appealed a judge's decision upholding it earlier in the week.

Applewhite, 93, had challenged the documentation requirement for picture identification because she was adopted early in life, making the name on her birth certificate different from that on other paperwork.

Applewhite received her identification card after presenting a PennDOT clerk a Medicare card from the 1990s, another document listing her name and Social Security number in her own handwriting and other documents listing her Philadelphia address, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

None of the documents, however, linked her birth certificate name of Viviette Virene Brooks to Viviette Applewhite.

Licensing bureau director Ruman said Applewhite's request was fulfilled because clerks are empowered to make exceptions to the document requirements and work with applicants.

Applewhite's lawyers said she's been attempting to obtain a PennDOT-issued ID card for years.

"You just have to keep trying," Applewhite said. "Don't give up."

Penda Hair, codirector of Advancment Project, a civil liberties group challenging the Voter ID law, was dubious of PennDOT's decision to grant the identification card. But the Inquirer reported the clerk who issued the card didn't appear to notice that Applewhite was a central figure in the challenge.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.philly.com

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