“Federal trial challenging Wisconsin’s voter ID law underway; String of people describes problems getting IDs”

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

The trial began with a string of people describing the problems they had in trying to secure IDs for themselves or family members. Some of them have yet to be successful.

“I cannot express the amount of time, energy and frustration it required” to get a license for her mother, Debra Crawford testified.

Crawford’s mother, Bettye Jones, was the lead plaintiff in one of the cases before the court Monday. Jones died in October 2012.

Jones was born in Tennessee and lived much of her life in Cleveland, Ohio. She moved to Brookfield in 2011 to be closer to family after her husband died.

She had to make multiple trips to a Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles office before she could get a driver’s license last year because she did not have a birth certificate. Getting the license cost her more than $100 and took about 40 hours over several months, Crawford testified.

Crawford and others who testified Monday were questioned only briefly during cross examination by attorneys for the state. But in opening statements, Kawski stressed state officials have made exceptions in unique circumstances to accommodate voters who had difficulty acquiring IDs.

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