August 11, 2014 4:12 pm -

97-year-old Beth Hiller, a nursing home resident from Topeka, Kansas, tried to vote last Tuesday, but was turned away. Upon arriving at the polling place, Ms. Hiller was told that she could not vote.

Think Progress reports:

Hiller was turned away because she did not have a photo ID, and Kansas has a strict voter ID law that disenfranchises voters without identification. Indeed, Kansas’ voter ID law is so strict that it even prohibits voters from casting an absentee ballot unless they have ID.

To add insult to injury, Hiller was also denied the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot, something she is entitled to do even under the state’s voter ID law, although it is doubtful that it would have made much of a difference if she had cast a provisional vote. Under Kansas’ voter ID law, a voter who casts a provisional ballot because they lack photo ID must still show up at the local election office with identification before their ballot can be counted.

She’s 97-years-old and obviously has no need for a driver’s license. A new study last week was released which documented the hundreds of voter discrimination cases.

Out of the more than one billion votes cast in the United States between 2000 and 2014, only  31 credible examples of impersonation at the polls were found.

Image: AP

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

38 responses to 97 Year-Old Woman Turned Away From The Polls Because Of Voter ID

  1. BanditBasheert August 11th, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    And of course SCROTUS says there is NO problem with things like Poll Taxes or Voter Disenfranchisement. Well SCROTUS knows best.

    There were actually TWO people from a nursing home that were disenfranchised – they are elderly with limited mobility.

    Kris Kobach (writer of SB1070 in AZ) is blaming ONE poorly trained poll worker.

    The state’s voter identification law and a poll worker who didn’t fully understand it prevented elderly residents of a Topeka care facility from voting in Tuesday’s primary election.

    Secretary of State Kris Kobach confirmed Thursday that some residents of Brewster Place in southwest Topeka who showed up to a polling place there without I.D.s were turned away without being issued provisional ballots, as required by law.

    “It appears the poll worker just didn’t understand the instructions,” Kobach said, namely that no potential voter should be rejected without at least being offered the chance to vote provisionally.

    Provisional ballots allow a potential voter more time to produce an identification that complies with the law the Legislature passed in 2011. They must be vetted by a county canvassing board that decides which provisional votes will be counted.

    Kobach spearheaded the ID law and a proof-of-citizenship requirement to register, saying the measures are necessary to prevent voter impersonation and protect the state from “alien” voters.

    Kobach said he had spoken to Shawnee County Election Commissioner Andrew Howell about the Brewster Place incident.

  2. fantagor August 11th, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Thank heavens for voter ID laws or else somebody might’ve impersonated a 97 year old woman and voted fraudulently. Better that tens of thousands, perhaps millions, can’t vote at all than have one person cast one illegal ballot that won’t have any impact on the outcome of even a local election for an education board.

    • BanditBasheert August 11th, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      It’s Kansas. Education is not allowed there.

      • Larry Schmitt August 11th, 2014 at 4:39 pm

        But if it were, creationism would be in the school books.

  3. Red Eye Robot August 11th, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Don’t worry, I’m sure the Local democratic party machine had someone vote for her 6 times already.

    • Anomaly 100 August 11th, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Citation needed.

      • Tommy6860 August 11th, 2014 at 4:39 pm

        Citation needed? The only citation you’d get is a fine for demanding honesty and facts :P.

        • Anomaly 100 August 11th, 2014 at 4:43 pm

          How he’s not ashamed to support this 97-year-old woman’s rights being taken from her, I don’t know.

          • BanditBasheert August 11th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

            Because he has no morals, no ethics and no redeeming social value? And because she may not vote GOP – So she must be stopped at once.

          • Tommy6860 August 11th, 2014 at 5:01 pm

            That’s a good point, but it also puts off all people who are really just trying to exercise their voting rights, period. I’ll admit though, I wonder if those like Red Eye post here just to get the responses. You see them a lot; they make these claims, then hide behind their initial post and watch the thread grow without ever making another (counter-)comment.

    • Larry Schmitt August 11th, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      I’m fairly certain there is no democratic party “machine” in Topeka.

    • BanditBasheert August 11th, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      If you actually had a mother or grandmother, this could be her.

    • OldLefty August 11th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      And the local republican party machine will be there to flip the votes, as their donors own the machines, (if they haven’t already purged eligible voters).

    • fantagor August 11th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      Meaning you think 6 people obtained a fraudulent IDs and voted 6 times in spite of the voter ID law.

      So much for voter ID laws eliminating in-person voter fraud.

      • BanditBasheert August 11th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

        Ahhh the possibilities.

    • Tommy6860 August 11th, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      You mean like actually catching a republican voter trying to vote more than once? Or two instances where voter registration fraud happened where one person was throwing away democratic registrations or a colorado teenager was only registering Romney voters? See how how it really works. The wingers can’t win on their policies, so they cheat with their scams and create harsh voter ID laws hoping it helps them.

      • R.J. Carter August 11th, 2014 at 4:55 pm

        There are two ladders that go up that cherry tree. The picker on the other ladder’s cherries taste different than yours, even though they’re grown exactly the same.

        • Tommy6860 August 11th, 2014 at 4:56 pm

          Can you be less cryptic?

          • R.J. Carter August 11th, 2014 at 5:56 pm

            You were cherry picking.

            Just like me:

          • Tommy6860 August 11th, 2014 at 6:08 pm

            How am I cherry picking when I gave actual actual instances of fraud and cheating, seriously? You then provide a story that is investigating whether there are possibilities, yet nothing concrete. That story has yet to be determined given the nu,ber they claim. Give numbers of real live people factually having voted en mass using false information. The fact is, these laws target minorities and in some cases, women voters. The fact that GOP state lawmakers tried revamping rules to favor their party in elections in 2012 was very telling, like John Husted in Ohio, and the state rep in Penn. who made the claim that their voting laws actually help Romney in his state, though he didn’t win it, it made it much closer.

          • BanditBasheert August 11th, 2014 at 6:10 pm

            It’s what he does. He also majors in “false equivalence” – stock in trade for wingnuttery.

    • arc99 August 11th, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      fine. since you have no problem with infringement of Constitutional rights, no more whining about g*d*amn guns!

      • R.J. Carter August 11th, 2014 at 4:54 pm

        How about we eliminate the need for an identification for either of these Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms?

        • arc99 August 11th, 2014 at 5:45 pm

          since the 2nd amendment explicitly requires a “well regulated” militia, I do not see any equivalence.

          from a practical standpoint, someone who lacks the proper ID to purchase a firearm does not lose the opportunity to make that purchase if they are delayed by days, weeks or even months in obtaining that ID.

          on the other hand, someone in this woman’s position permanently loses her right to vote in that election. delaying a right and permanently losing a right are two very different things.

        • arc99 August 11th, 2014 at 5:52 pm

          so let’s have only one week every year when you can buy a gun while we also reduce the number of places where a firearm can be purchased. anyone who lacks the proper id to purchase a firearm is out of luck until next year.

          let the NRA base live with those rules for a few years then we can talk about why doing the same thing with voting rights is such a wonderful idea.

        • fantagor August 11th, 2014 at 5:52 pm

          When a vote accidentally discharges and kills somebody, I’ll agree that voting and guns should be handled equally.

          • bhil August 11th, 2014 at 9:26 pm

            I think that has happened in Iraq, Oops!

    • Obewon August 11th, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Pennsylvania GOP admits it: no voter fraud problem! Only the gullible buy repubs voter disenfranchisement ruse. Vs reality that anyone is far more likely to be hit by lightening, than be impersonated at the polls.

      Somebody forgot to tell Red Eye Robot that GWB’s HAVA requires Certified BC proof of address, Government ID signature matches, etc before any voting is allowed! That’s why only “signature matches” at the polls are required for voting after registration.

    • Denise August 11th, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      every instance of voter fraud has been carried out by a republican. just last month a politician conveniently “forgot” he was registered in two states to vote. oops!

    • whatthe46 August 12th, 2014 at 1:42 am

      hater… LOL.

    • fahvel August 12th, 2014 at 3:13 am


  4. Obewon August 11th, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Even GOP officials admit they can’t find fraud and that their voter-ID is a voter disenfranchisement scam. Most bolted from their 89% Anglo GOP and 95% white tea Klan. Top Pennsylvania Republican Admits Voter ID Helped Suppress Obama Voters “Out of the more than one billion votes cast in the United States between 2000 and 2014, only 31 credible examples of impersonation at the polls were found.”

  5. Denise August 11th, 2014 at 5:06 pm


  6. whatthe46 August 12th, 2014 at 1:40 am

    97 years old, what country did they think she scootered her way in from? really? this woman likely never missed a vote since she was given the right to.

  7. fahvel August 12th, 2014 at 3:12 am

    my medical id card has a photo on it – what about medicaid paper cards – seems like an easy solution and the nursing homes can help facilitate it.