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North Philadelphia Rally Puts Voter ID Law In Spotlight

(Pa. state senator Shirley Kitchen addresses the informational rally she organized in North Philadelphia.   Credit: Michelle Durham)

(Pa. state senator Shirley Kitchen addresses the informational rally she organized in North Philadelphia. Credit: Michelle Durham)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania State Senator Shirley Kitchen, whose constituency includes North Philadelphia, held a street corner rally today at 23rd and Allegheny to remind area residents about Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law, which requires a valid form of photo ID in order to vote in the crucial November election.

Kitchen says the issue is senior citizens, “especially if they are 70. There is a problem with some seniors who were not born in Pennsylvania, and they are being asked to produce a birth certificate, and they are having trouble.”

Ben Geffen, an attorney at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, says a lawsuit has been filed to try to overturn the law (see related story).

geffen ben thumb  durham North Philadelphia Rally Puts Voter ID Law In Spotlight

(Ben Geffen addresses the rally. Credit: Michelle Durham)

“Several of the individuals we represent in this lawsuit are elderly voters who were born under ‘Jim Crow’ in the old South,” Geffen (right) explains, “and they were born at a time when African-American folks were especially likely to be born to a midwife, not in a hospital. No record was ever made of their birth.”

Geffen says these Pennsylvania residents can’t get a birth certificate that PennDOT will accept to issue a photo ID. For others, he says, the issue is the difficulty and expense of securing the required documents.

Read Cherri Gregg’s special report on Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law

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