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Woman, 107, who danced with Obamas can’t get photo ID

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Virginia McLaurin, the 107-year-old woman who melted Americans’ hearts when she fulfilled her dream of visiting the White House and meeting President Barack Obama and the First Lady — says she can’t get the government to issue her a photo ID.

According to the Washington Post, the Washington, DC Department of Motor Vehicles refuses to issue McLaurin a photo ID without a birth certificate from her home state of South Carolina. South Carolina, however, refuses to issue her a birth certificate without seeing a photo ID.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get that face card,” she told the Post. “I was birthed by a midwife and the birthday put in a Bible somewhere. I don’t know if they even had birth certificates back then.”

McLaurin lost her ID when her purse was snatched years ago. She said that she meant to replace the missing ID cards and other items, but, “I didn’t want to think about carrying around stuff that people would steal.”

This means that McLaurin — who has been invited to media appearances in Los Angeles and New York City — can’t board a plane anywhere in the United States. Because she is a D.C. resident, however, she can vote.

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Were she a resident of 17 states in the country, she would not be able to vote at all thanks to restrictive voter ID laws. Republicans have enacted these laws in multiple states saying that they hope to combat voter fraud. However, these laws disproportionately impact traditionally Democratic constituencies like the elderly, the poor and voters of color to vote.

According to NYU School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice, 25 percent of black adults have no form of state-issued photo ID, as opposed to only eight percent of white adults. In 2012, the Brennan Center estimated that Republican voter ID laws would keep 5 million eligible U.S. voters from the polls.

Watch video of McLaurin’s visit to the White House, embedded below:

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BUSTED: CNN’s panel of women defending Trump’s racism were literally the ‘Trumpettes’

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CNN aired a panel that featured “Republican women” defending President Trump’s racist tweets, but failed to mention that they were actually part of a pro-Trump group whose members the network had interviewed in the past.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Ben Carson is Donald Trump’s faulty human shield against accusations of racism

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Ben Carson is back in the news — after another long absence — because Donald Trump has once again been accused of racism.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

The secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the only African-American member of the president’s Cabinet, and is often trotted out to clean up after Trump makes a mess too obviously problematic for the media to ignore. While Trump has tried to spin his recent racist attacks on four progressive freshman congresswomen as a strategic maneuver meant to manipulate Democratic infighting to his advantage, Carson's re-emergence from his stupor should be a clear indication that the president’s team recognizes the damage that can be caused by his unforced errors.

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An illegal trend could be emerging after Trump let Kellyanne Conway off the hook for breaking federal law

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Federal workplaces are supposed to be free of politics, but a Trump administration appointee used a government forum Wednesday to express support for the president’s reelection.

At a conference on religious freedom hosted by the State Department, an official told the crowd of several hundred people that “hopefully he will be reelected,” referring to President Donald Trump.

It’s illegal for federal employees to engage in political activities while they are on the job.

“It’s a violation of the Hatch Act for a federal official, to say in her official capacity, to hope that the president will be reelected,” said Kathleen Clark, an expert on legal ethics at the Washington University in St. Louis.

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