107-Year-Old Woman’s Struggle to Get Photo ID Prompts Concern for Elderly Voting Rights

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A 107-year-old woman's struggle to obtain a government-issued photo ID is shedding light on concerns about restrictive voter ID requirements for elderly people.

Virginia McLaurin, of Washington, D.C., had been wanting to visit places like New York and Los Angeles for media interviews after meeting with the Obamas at the White House in February, but she struggled to obtain the government-issued photo ID she needed to board an airplane, the Washington Post originally reported this weekend.

In order for McLaurin to get a D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles non-drivers’ photo ID, she needed a birth certificate from South Carolina (where she was born), but to get the birth certificate, she needed a photo ID.

And though McLaurin was happy D.C. didn't require a photo ID to vote, she was concerned for other other elderly people who may not get vote in areas with more stringent voter ID restrictions.

Thirty-four states have laws requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls, and of those 34, 17 ask for a photo ID, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

And while proponents believe stricter voter ID laws help prevent fraud, opponents argue they prevent minority voters -- such as the elderly -- from exercising their voting rights.

After hearing about McLaurin's troubles, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a new regulation Tuesday that allows the D.C. DMV "to help District senior citizens aged 70 and older who need a Real ID, but who may lack the necessary identification to get that ID."

The new regulation essentially expands "the list of acceptable documents for residents age 70 and older to allow these seniors to secure" the photo ID "necessary for travel and completing other personal business requiring identification," according to a news release from the mayor's office Tuesday.

McLaurin was thankful to everyone who helped her get her photo ID renewed, she said in the news release.

"I am especially happy to know that now all seniors in D.C., will be able to get an ID more easily," McLaurin said.

"Our seniors deserve easy access to a government photo ID so they can take advantage of the many benefits, activities and services that other residents enjoy," the mayor added in the news release. “These common sense regulations will ensure that District seniors can get an ID if they lack the kind of documentation that may not have been around when they were born."

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Officials break ground on new park honoring the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombing

Officials break ground on new park honoring the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombingSeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Officials broke ground in Boston Wednesday for a new park dedicated to Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Martin was 8 years old when he killed on April 15, 2013, as he watched the marathon from near the finish line with his family. His mother was gravely injured, and his sister, who was 7 at the time,
lost a leg.

Photos from Wednesday's ceremonial groundbreaking show children in hard hats using shovels to dig dirt. Martin's Park, located next to the Boston Children's Museum at the Smith Family Waterfront,
is expected to open in the fall of 2018, according to a press release from the office of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

"This park will bring light & hope to that darkness, honoring his memory & allowing kids to be kids," Baker wrote on Twitter.

#MartinRichard lost his life to terror. This park will bring light & hope to that darkness, honoring his memory & allowing kids to be kids. pic.twitter.com/lYUTMyZNxV

— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) August 16, 2017

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh wrote on Twitter that the park will remind its visitors of "hope, compassion & love."

"Martin's spirit will always live on in Boston & in Martin's Park," Walsh wrote.

This park reminds us of hope, compassion & love a young boy taught us all. Martin's spirit will always live on in Boston & in Martin's Park. pic.twitter.com/w6Plokx6D7

— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) August 16, 2017

Both Baker and Walsh spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony, as well as Martin's family.

Martin's sister, Jane Richard, said she knows that her brother is happy that the community is coming together.

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