Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The first victims of Indiana's voter discrimination law

You'll remember that last week the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law that was designed ostensibly to prevent vote fraud. Indiana of course could provide no actual evidence of such fraud - either in Indiana or anywhere else, save for 1 example in Washington state. Evidence was presented though that clearly demonstrated that this law would disproportionately impact the elderly, the disabled and minorities. That these groups of people vote overwhelmingly for Democrats was, I'm sure, just a happy coincidence.

Well with the Indiana primary today we should be getting our first look at the real effects of this law. Josh Marshall points us to this story from the Associated Press,

About 12 Indiana nuns were turned away Tuesday from a polling place by a fellow bride of Christ because they didn't have state or federal identification bearing a photograph.

Sister Julie McGuire said she was forced to turn away her fellow sisters at Saint Mary's Convent in South Bend, across the street from the University of Notre Dame, because they had been told earlier that they would need such an ID to vote.

The nuns, all in their 80s or 90s, didn't get one but came to the precinct anyway.

"One came down this morning, and she was 98, and she said, 'I don't want to go do that,'" Sister McGuire said. Some showed up with outdated passports. None of them drives.

They weren't given provisional ballots because it would be impossible to get them to a motor vehicle branch and back in the 10-day time frame allotted by the law, Sister McGuire said. "You have to remember that some of these ladies don't walk well. They're in wheelchairs or on walkers or electric carts."

So there you have it folks. Proof that Indiana's voter ID law is disenfranchising voters all in the name of preventing a fraud for which there is no evidence. This result was entirely predictable and now we have the evidence right in front of our eyes. The Indiana voter ID law is indefensible from a public policy standpoint. Those of you who tried to place the burden of proof on the opponents of this disgraceful law now have your proof.

Cross-posted at Colorado Pols

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