In Bucks County, a tale of ID frustration

Posted: April 23, 2012

The outcry over the state's new voter-ID bill is not limited to the big cities.

It has been dominating the public comment at Bucks County Board of Commissioners meetings, and it escalated last week when Det Ansinn, the Borough Council president in Doylestown, told of taking his wife's 91-year-old grandmother to a PennDot office, looking for a photo ID so she could keep her 70-year voting record intact.

Joyce Block of Doylestown Township is such a dedicated voter that Ansinn took her from the hospital in a wheelchair to vote in 2010 because she couldn't get an absentee ballot.

She has an old voter registration card with her married name, but she has never had a driver's license.

Block had all the documents on the Department of State checklist - birth certificate and Social Security card, both with her maiden name; her marriage certificate; deed to her house; Peco bills; plus her IRS refund check.

That wasn't enough to satisfy PennDot, Ansinn said.

Her Hebrew marriage license was rejected because the PennDot worker couldn't read Hebrew.

And the deed and Peco bill were rejected because they had her married name, not her maiden name.

The state worker suggested she take legal action to switch the ownership of her home to her maiden name, which she hasn't used in 60 years. Then, maybe, she will be allowed to vote in the November election.

"This is absurd," Block's daughter, Randee Block, said at the meeting.


Contact Bill Reed

at 215-801-2964, wreed@philly.com, or follow @breedbucks on Twitter. Read

his blog, "BucksInq," at www.philly.com/bucksinq.

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