I voted early in downtown Durham recently, and the woman in front of me was not allowed to vote. She had her bus pass on a lanyard around her neck and obviously thought that it was sufficient identification. She did not drive or travel and wondered why she would have a driver’s license or passport.
Our government has failed to adequately communicate the ID requirements to all voting citizens. The poll workers were unnecessarily rude, calling her “sir,” ignoring her confusion and distress and ushering her out of the room for a barrage of questions to see whether she qualified for a provisional ballot.
I have never before felt ashamed to be participating in this simple civil right while it was being denied to another.
I have no doubt that when the legislature passed the ID requirement, it was thinking of stopping women like her from voting rather than fighting a nonexistent problem of “voter fraud.”
Our government has failed her and by extension it has failed me and anyone else who believes that all citizens have a right to their vote.