Voter ID to be on 2011 ballot

Next November, Brookhaven’s Jennifer Jackson plans to march down to her polling place and vote in favor of a voter ID initiative that will appear on the 2011 ballot.

There are plenty of arguments against and in favor of requiring voters to show photo identification before they vote, but few people have experienced a voter ID crisis quite like Jackson.

In an election in the late 1990s, she arrived at the precinct to discover that, somehow, she had already voted. And so had her father, Don Jackson, who had been dead for a decade.

“I was so appalled. I heard voter fraud happened, but it happened to me,” Jackson said.

Jackson’s ordeal began because of a mix-up in the voter rolls – she had moved across town and her address had not been updated.

Jackson had to go to the courthouse to vote because of the mistake, and when she arrived and got ready to make her mark, she was told she had already voted. She claimed she was “the real Jennifer
Jackson” and produced her driver’s license, but officials already had a record of her voting earlier in the day.

“They showed me where I had initialed my name. I checked to see if my dead daddy, who had been dead for 10 years, had voted, and he had also voted,” Jackson said.
Jackson had to fill out an affidavit to vote that year. She never discovered who had voted in her – or her late father’s – place.

“It’s still a mystery. I don’t guess it ever got solved,” she said. “I don’t even know if my vote counted that year.”
There was nothing Jackson could do but wonder for the next 10 years.

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