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Arizona woman becomes 'casualty in the voter ID battle'
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Wednesday June 11, 2008

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In 2004, Arizona passed one of the nation's strictest voter ID laws, requiring proof of citizenship to vote. Now a 97 year old woman who recently moved to the Phoenix area finds she is no longer eligible to cast a ballot.

"It's my constitutional right to be able to vote," insists Shirley Preiss. Decked out in a US flag hat and shirt, Preiss told News 5, "I'm a legal American. I'm born here."

According to Art Levine at the Huffington Post, "She was born at home in Clinton, Kentucky in 1910, before women had the right to vote, and never had a birth certificate. Shirley has voted in every presidential election since FDR first ran in 1932, and proudly describes herself as a 'died-in-the-wool Democrat.' After living in Arizona for two years, she was eagerly looking forward to casting her ballot in the February primary for the first major woman candidate for President, Hillary Clinton. But lacking a birth certificate or even elementary school records to prove she's a native-born American citizen, the state of Arizona's bureaucrats determined that this former school-teacher who taught generations of Americans shouldn't be allowed to vote."

Preiss's son, Nathan "Joey" Nemnich, tried to get her an Arizona ID on the basis of her three Texas driver's licenses and her Social Security and Medicare cards, but was rejected. Now the 78-year-old veteran says, "I'm pissed. She's an American citizen who worked her whole life and I want her to vote. ... The sons of bitches are taking away our Constitution."

Linda Brown of the Arizona Advocacy Network asks, "How many hurdles should there be to jump through? How many barriers are we going to accept?" The group says that almost 40,000 registration forms have been rejected by the state since the Arizona law went into effect.

KPHO News 5 has more details here.

This video is from KPHO News 5 Phoenix, broadcast June 10, 2008.

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