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Woman Describes Humiliation From VA Voter ID Law

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A 69-year-old black woman who grew up in a small, segregated town wept on the witness stand as she testified about the trouble she had voting in the 2014 election in Virginia.

Josephine Okiakpe (oh-KEEF') said Monday that she produced several forms of identification, but did not have a photo ID that was considered acceptable under a 2013 law that is being challenged by the Democratic Party of Virginia. She cried as she recalled others looking at her and snickering, leaving her upset and frustrated.

She was given a provisional ballot, which ultimately was counted, but said the experience undermined her confidence in the way Virginia conducts elections.

Okiakpe testified in federal court as the trial began on the Democratic Party's lawsuit. Democrats claim the voter ID law illegally suppresses voting by minorities and young people.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.