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.

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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).

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

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“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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