Another Asheville senior resident experiences difficulty obtaining photo ID from NCDMV

Juliet Burke recently moved from Maine to North Carolina. A brain tumor survivor, the disabled 68-year-old lives in affordable senior housing in West Asheville on an income of $650 per month.

Knowing that she would need a photo ID to vote in North Carolina, Burke asked a friend to drive her to the Department of Motor Vehicles office on Patton Avenue on Feb. 10. She had with her a Maine driver’s license, social security card and North Carolina Medicaid card, but was told that she needed a document showing her full middle name rather than the  initial “M” (for Marie).

“Because I didn’t have anything that the DMV said I needed to have, like a birth certificate, divorce decree, income tax or W-2 forms stating what the M stood for, I was refused a picture ID,” wrote Burke in a statement.

Burke continued: “I showed them my checks and said the only piece of ID I had that had my full name was a Discover Credit Card and was told by the woman at DMV that it was no good.”

Though the office was empty, Burke reports that she was offered no further advice about getting a photo I.D. She left without accomplishing her errand.

Senior suffrage advocate Ann Butzner connected with Burke and drove her to the polling location at the Asheville Outlets on Monday, March 7. Burke requested an absentee ballot, which does not require a photo I.D. After some confusing interactions with a poll worker, Butzner says, Burke was directed to the help desk, where she eventually received a regular ballot based on the documentation she presented.

“It was a confusing experience,” Butzner says. “And after all that, she still doesn’t have a photo ID.” Butzner is working to coordinate a time to take Burke back to the DMV office for another shot at obtaining a photo ID.


Editor’s note:
An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Burke voted at the Buncombe County Board of Elections office on McDowell Street. She actually voted at the polling location at the Asheville Outlets at 800 Brevard Rd. The story has been updated. 



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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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40 thoughts on “Another Asheville senior resident experiences difficulty obtaining photo ID from NCDMV

  1. Yep

    DMV DOING THEIR JOB !!! THANKS DMV for upholding the requirements…Im sure the lady will get her ID in due time as she
    works on the project…sorry if timing for voting is an issue, but surely she can perform by November!

    • hauntedheadnc

      You do realize, I hope, that preventing seniors from voting will likely not work out so well for the GOP, whose voter base is largely made up of older white people.

      • Yep

        well all the old white womyn are voting for the hildebeest, no doubt…so no worries…stupid people everywhere in both parties

        remember WNC is home to the lowest IQs and low information voters of anywhere in Amerikkka …

  2. luther blissett

    Tuesday’s primary is going to be a cluster-you-know-what, and that’s with a fraction of the turnout we’ll see in November. The relevant organs will talk about “teething troubles” and “it’ll all be in place by the fall” and no, it won’t, because the legislature copy-pasted stupid conditions dictated to them by right-wing DC lobby shops without any consideration of how they’d work in practice.

    GOP is the name, voter suppression is the aim.

    • Buni Southerland

      Voter suppression IS the aim. It’s been working for years. Bless you for fighting back! BTW, it freaks them out to be questioned ):

  3. Don

    Juliet Burke is quite simply insignificant collateral damage of the/our [now] fascist state (yes, North Carolina) that the so-called conservatives have wrought. Now let the indignant/lame whine rant commence…. bless your hearts.

    • boatrocker

      Can you repost your post with internet to English subtitles?

      I’m not sure what to think of that post. Yes, I agree that Rethuglican owned NC is a fascist state, Not sure about the rest-

  4. “Butzner is working to coordinate a time to take Burke back to the DMV office for another shot at obtaining a photo ID.”

    I’m on pins and needles. Do follow up and let us know when this registered Democrat from another state gets her North Carolina photo ID so that the absentee ballot she cast her votes on and submitted on 03/07/2016 will count when the board of elections canvas is held.

  5. Annie Butzner

    No ID is needed to vote absentee. State Board of Elections outreach person stated documents presented to DMV were acceptable.

  6. bsummers

    “Low information voters”. Meaning, you think they don’t listen to FOX News enough?

    Fresh from achieving Voter ID in NC, there are conservatives today arguing that this doesn’t go far enough – there should be poll tests instituted, possibly a property ownership requirement. Some have argued for the repeal of the 19th Amendment. Where does it end?

    • Lulz

      LOL, lefties like yourself manipulate the young and women. The war on women slogan is a perfect example why a bunch of overgrown children voting is the worst thing EVER to happen. Keep in mind that women outnumber men in college, outnumber men in college debt, and outnumber men in consumer debt. All the while the pay for a single woman in their 20′ s is actually more than men.

      Property ownership should be a requirement. Why should I be taxed more because those that don’t own property are allowed to vote more of my money away? And see Mr lefty, the day will come when people can’t afford the taxes on their property and be forced out by the government which was voted in by those who don’t have property. And the big mistake you make is thinking once those people have lost everything, they’ll just go away quietly lulz. That’s when the real fun begins.

      • Virginia Daffron

        Lulz, I edited your comment to remove name-calling and the mild threat at the end. I believe the substance of your comment remains, minus the violations of our usage policy. Please refrain from those (and other) violations of our policy in future comments.

        • Lulz

          LOL hey Virginia, why don’t you stop looking at my comments and start doing something useful like actually reporting facts about such people like the Clintons, Bothwell, Smith, all your favorite lefty loons. After all, there’s a supposed rape crisis on college campuses and yet we have a rapist giving a speech here today. And what’s funny is that young and old foolish women support him and his dictator wife lulz. But if we actually had a media that reported facts instead of lefty loon spoon fed them, maybe those women would be aghast at just what they’re getting with what they’re voting for LOL.

      • bsummers

        Amazing how you people can justify chipping away at the voting rights of every demographic that challenge your political dominance, as if it was on principal, and not a naked cynical power grab. Women, the poor, college students, minorities, seniors.

        Just come right out and say that you hate this country, and be done with it.

        • Lulz

          Amazing how Bill Clinton, a sexual predator who makes Bill Cosby look like a saint, was protected by his wife in order to achieve political power. And amazing how YOU people not only look the other way, but that young misinformed women are willing to vote that in LOL.

          The 19th was and is the worst thing to ever happen.

          • bsummers

            In case any of you aren’t aware of exactly what he’s saying, he’s saying women shouldn’t have the right to vote. I guess he’d get rid of the 15th, too. Goodbye minority voting.

            Only white, male property owners should be allowed to vote in America. And he calls me a loon?

            The American Taliban is alive and well.

        • Lulz

          Let me add Mr Lefty, that people such as yourself have to manipulate and lie in order to gain power LOL. But people are waking up.

          Your problem is what this country stands for and what it’s was founded on is two different things. Your willing to ban people and objects in order to achieve authoritarian rule over others. Your willing to take rights away from one group and allow another to trample over them. I’m about leaving people alone and letting them live their lives they best way they see fit., For instance I’m sure you support such things as smoking bans in bars, I don’t and expect people to be able to choose where they drink. It’s called freedom and something you don’t have a clue about.

      • boatrocker

        Holy cow, property ownership as a requirement for voting?

        As the Daily Show reporter told Don Yelton when he made it clear what the GOP is trying to do:

        “You do know this mike is on, right?”

      • mynameis

        “Why should I be taxed more because those that don’t own property are allowed to vote more of my money away?”

        and then:

        “And the big mistake you make is thinking once those people have lost everything, they’ll just go away quietly lulz. ”

        And Lulz swims to the deep end of the pool and sinks directly to the bottom. Don’t worry, Trump’s stoking the fires now. Looks like you just might get your white riot, Lulz.

        “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”

        A brief quote:

        All this anger we see from people screaming “All Lives Matter” in response to black protesters at rallies… All this anger we see from people insisting that THEIR “religious freedom” is being infringed because a gay couple wants to get married… All these people angry about immigrants, angry about Muslims, angry about “Happy Holidays,” angry about not being able to say bigoted things without being called a bigot… They all basically boil down to people who have grown accustomed to walking straight at other folks, and expecting THEM to move. So when “those people” in their path DON’T move… When those people start wondering, “Why am I always moving out of this guy’s way?” When those people start asking themselves, “What if I didn’t move? What if I just kept walking too?” When those people start believing that they have every bit as much right to that aisle as anyone else… It can seem like THEIR rights are being taken away.

        Are you unhappy that “those people” aren’t stepping out of your way anymore?


    • Yep

      Uhm NO, most are just plain STUPID and should NOT be voting…MANY MANY idiots like that around here…we have a
      very LOW IQ population

  7. LokulYokul

    > She had with her a Maine driver’s license

    Why didn’t DMV recognize this? I’m suspicious of this story being true.

    • luther blissett

      Because the Maine license has a middle initial and not a middle name, and because the DMV is now prevented from using common sense towards ID discrepancies by stupid laws passed by craven legislators who pass whatever ALEC sends to them.

      • Yep

        luther you are disillusioned like all the others, but 70%+ of the voters INSIST on VOTER ID and the integrity it restores
        to, even , YOUR vote sir…STRIVE to be SMARTER.

        • bsummers

          Or at the very least, strive to be whiter, more male, and own more property. This will make you worthy of the right to vote.

          • Yep

            gosh that seems awfully RACIST of you, but YES real property ownership or actually PAYING income taxes
            would be GREAT requirements… WE certainly need SOMETHING to weed out the tit suckers!

          • bsummers

            WE certainly need SOMETHING to weed out the tit suckers!

            Thanks for the additional confirmation that Voter ID isn’t about protecting the process… it’s about “weeding out” people you don’t want to be able to cast a vote in this country.

            Seriously – I’d love to know why you people hate America so much.

        • luther blissett

          Fisher/Yep appears to be one of those white southern men, like generations before him, who has never seen a truly free and fair election in his life, isn’t convinced that free and fair elections are a good thing, and is mostly petrified of the consequences of a free and fair election in North Carolina.

          Some states value free and fair elections most of all, regardless of which party wins. Some people in North Carolina like the idea of free and fair elections. Some people couch their antidemocratic prejudice in the BS of ‘voter integrity’, and they sit in Raleigh and pass Voter ID laws faxed to them from DC. Then there are honest folk like Yep/Fisher who simply don’t think *certain* people should have the vote at all.

  8. Yep

    All states value free and fair elections, but NC did not – after decades of democrackkk run SBOE with sleazebag Larry Leake of
    Madison Co as chairman, the voter rolls were in shambles with zero voter integrity. FINALLY we have this outlaw outta there
    and voter rolls restored to near optimum. Those who espouse hatred for Voter INTEGRITY are the real criminals, and in the
    extreme minority in NC. Remember when NC was totally dominated and CONTROLLED by EVIL CRIMINAL democrackkks,
    several of which WENT to PRISON back 10-15 years ago? Unfortunately former Gov Sleazely and Jim Hunt avoided prison, but Sleazely was disbarred and the VILE Jim Hunt still tells the ‘crackkks how to operate. Jim Black went to PRISON for 5 years and ruined his life, Meg Scott, corrupt democrackkk daughter of the late Gov Bob Scott also went to PRISON, plus several others. NC was nearly destroyed by 140+ years of ruination by this evil original party of SLAVERY and the KKK.

  9. Poteom

    Reality check…when has anyone had a completely smooth and easy experience at the DMV? One way to ensure you are going to have problems is going to get ID without calling the DMV or going to their website ahead of your trip to verify you have what they need. I have had the same thing happen to me in the past when I didn’t call ahead. I was ticked and irritated but I went back home, got what they wanted and went back, making a mental note to learn from my mistake and not repeat the same mistake again. What is interesting is that this experience, one that many have experienced in the past, is significant enough to make the news vs something like children going hungry locally, environmental issues etc., etc.

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