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Unintended Consequences? Veterans Turned Away At Polls For Lack Of Valid ID

IdcardAlso from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette comes this story about veterans who were unable to vote this week because their identification cards didn't conform to the state's new voter identification law:

"One aspect of Tuesday's primary election troubles DeKalb County Clerk Jackie Rowan.

"Her voice trembled as she described having to turn away a handful of veterans who tried to use their Veterans Administration medical cards as the required photo identification.

"Rowan said the veterans became upset, refusing to cast provisional ballots, when she explained to them they could not use identification that did not have an expiration date or a stamp indicating that it never expired.

"'(It was) bad,' she said. 'They all accused us of not wanting them to vote.

"'I feel their pain. They served in the service for us, and they worked hard and paid taxes.'

"Officials with Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita's office said they had not heard many complaints about veterans' identification."

Hang on. Officials in Rokita's office said they had not heard many complaints about veterans' identification? This implies that they heard a few. Or, if you want to take a simpler approach, that they heard more than zero.

The problem with the voter ID law is that most people aren't affected. And the people who are affected are often the people most overlooked in our society. But here we have a few examples of people who should not only be able to vote, but who most Hoosiers would agree should probably be moved to the front of the line.

And yet, the very identification cards issued to them as veterans were inadequate under the state's law. How's that for justice?

U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker made a big to-do about how Democrats and others who sued to overturn the law failed to produce any evidence that anyone would be disenfranchised. Of course, she'd probably still say that these veterans should have voted provisional ballots and gone back later to produce a valid ID under the law.

The point is that they and others shouldn't have to. Why should someone have to make more than one trip to cast a ballot? Why can't we have a system, like so many other states that require identification at the polls, where residents are allowed to produce a number of combinations of ID to get access to the voting booth? Why is this Secretary of State so hell-bent on making it harder to vote, not easier?

If the premise of this law was to increase security at the polls, it seems both ironic and fundamentally unfair to turn away those who've risked their lives for the security of this country. Let's make this law better, folks, so we don't have to see any more stories like this.

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I'll wager that the democratic party "encouraged" people around the state to pull stunts like this. The judge basically tould them they had to have disenfranchised individuals.

The real news is that nobody was disenfranchised, despite the dems warnings. They had a hotline and were looking for a smoking gun. We didn't hear about it, so evidently they didn't find it.

TDW says the governor should do what the people want (toll road, time zones, etc.). The majority of people wanted voter ID.

The party should be ashamed of taking advantage of veterans.

You do realize that the DeKalb County Clerk is a Republican, right?

trolls should do their homework before posting here!

This makes me absolutely sick. I grew up in DeKalb County, and I know Jackie Rowan (and probably at least one of the veterans mentioned-- Auburn's a small town). She's a decent person and a good clerk, and it speaks volumes about the ridiculousness of this bill that VETERANS are being disenfranchised.

The problem is a party in power that will never say they screwed up. They're right no matter what! This is a badly written law executed as a knee-jerk reaction to the possibility of fraud. Note, I said possibility not actuality. There have been no documented cases of voter fraud, so the only justification for this law is to prevent people from voting. And they said the south couldn't rise again!

Those of us who were against Voter ID KNEW that there would be Hoosiers denied their constitutional right to vote. Not just in minority neighborhoods (where the GOP targeted the law) but in places all across the state. Since Garrison and that non-practicing lawyer comedian talkshow host has ignored the problems, the "trolls" don't know that the city's progressive talkshow on WTLC-AM aired stories of voters denied their rights to vote Tuesday and stories of poll workers haphazardly enforcing the voting laws. The "trolls" don't want to acknowledge this central fact. In pursuit of fraud that didn't exist, The GOP denied Hoosiers their vote all up and down the state.
And for any vet not to be denied their right to vote is not only criminal, its sinful. And those who crafted this law will have to answer to Him on Judgement Day.

They could cast a provisional ballot and follow the law. They had an agenda.

That's why the VA is issuing NEW id's to all veterans which contain expiration dates...PLUS they also have 10 days to produce a valid ID to have their provisional vote counted. Try again...and do some of your OWN homework...

Why should someone have to go back a second time to have his or her vote count?

Why not just make the law a little better by allowing various forms of identification?

Angry troll! Funny.

It would be very difficult to go through life in 2006 without a dated picture ID. One has to show a picture ID for practically everything else...no one complains about those times. Knowledgeable voters would have known. The provisional ballots were offered.

Why should you have to vote provisional when you can prove 85 different ways that you are who you say you are?

This is about making elections more open, not more restrictive. C'mon, folks. I know it doesn't affect you, but that doesn't mean it's not an issue.

It was an issue. Now it is a law - a law that the majority of hoosiers support.

You can't argue that Mitch should do what the majority of hoosiers want when it comes to the toll road and time zones while completely ignoring what the majority of hoosiers want when it comes to voter ID.

I don't think the democrats are going to win over many voters by arguing against this law.

And keep bringing Howard Dean here. Put him in front of as many cameras as you can and just let him keep talking. Thank you.

Scooter and others act as if the provisional ballot is the cure all. But he and other "trolls" on this blog don't understand the law they're trying to defend. If they understood the law they'd realize that to get that provisional vote to count, the voter must physically go to a clerk's office of their county and prove they are who they say they are. Why must a voter go through all kinds of hoops to vote? Is that what our soliders are doing overseas, protecting the right of Americans to go through extra hoops just to vote? In none of the voter problems talked about on this blog have these been individuals who were not properly registered to vote. These aren't ghost voters. These are living Hoosiers denied their right to vote. Let them explain to us why the married woman was denied her right to vote because she married and didn't change her name on her ID. Yet her name was CORRECT in the voter registration database. The law was violated when she was denied her right to vote. The Sec of State spent a million bucks advertising you had to have a "military ID", but never explained what that really meant. To a veteran, their veteran ID would reasonably construed as a "military" ID. It was the responsibility of the state to explain the law to them, not vice versa. Let Scooter and others explain why several voters were denied their right to vote Tuesday becausre their ID address didn't match their voting address, even though the Voter ID law specifically excluded the checking of addresses on drivers licenses, state ID card or passport.
Bottom line, Scooter and others wanted Voter ID to lock out Black folks and others they don't want to vote. Instead the Voter ID snare has snared Hoosiers in rural areas and small towns, not just the big city. It's arrogance that only the enlightened should vote that's behind Voter ID. An arrogance that years of fighting for voting rights in American supposedly stopped.

I never said I wanted to block out anyone's right to vote. It's sad that you would think that. Just have a proper ID. Getting married involves changing one's name on an ID also, or one should so items like the Social Security changes are properly made. Instead of complaining, go out there and help those people get a proper ID before next election just like I have with some family members. And yes, I would hope that all voters are enlightened enough and informed enough to make thoughtful decisions at the voting booth regardless of their political beliefs.

Why does your and the state's definition of "proper" ID have to be so narrowly tailored?

There are myriad ways to prove one's identity.

As for helping people get the required identification to vote, that shouldn't be a burden on the voter. If the state wants to make it harder to cast a ballot, it's the state's responsibility to make sure every legal voter has access to what's required.

That means not shuttering BMV branches, not creating a cart-before-the-horse situation for obtaining a birth certificate and not imposing unobtainable requirements that serve as obstacles to a fundamental right.

Like I've said before, I have no problem with requiring identification, but this law is far too restrictive.

To the anonymous troll who made the remark about Howard Dean: Given that the GOP has trotted out the unpopular President and his even more unpopular VP sidekick half a dozen times in Indiana, I think I'd invest in some new talking points.

You have one ultra-remixed scream on us. We have corruption, insider dealings, lies, a war, a huge budget deficit, failing education and health care policy and skyrocketing gas prices on you.

Husha, husha.

Why is anyone who posts a differing opinion on this issue automatically a troll? Note that I'm not offering a differing opinion (please, oh please, Truth Teller, stay your red-hot brand, just inches from my quivering flanks), I'm just asking a fair question. Is the purpose of this area discourse or reassurance?
I'll take my answer off the air.

Actually, I and others don't automatically assume dissenting views come from trolls. If you'll notice, I always refer to Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and trolls.

By definition, a troll stops by, offers some random spicy comment and then flees. They tend to offer very little in the way of debate. Hence, the Howard Dean comment was a troll's comment, but I don't consider Scooter a troll, though I disagree with him/her.

We didn't have as many problems with this issue as expected because many simply decided to stay home because they didn't have the right identification. This is disenfranchisment; they were still unable to vote. I personally had two voters tell me of family members who stayed home because they hadn't yet gotten around to getting a new ID. (one in particular had difficulty getting their birth certificate, the other's ID was just out of date) This disenfranchisment is real and these people are real. Republicans should be ashamed of themselves.

THe argument that we should support this law because the majority wants it flies in the face of the Bill of Rights. The tyranny of the majority is precisely why we have a bill or rights. The toll road issue and DST do not approach a basic right such as voting and so the argument has no weight. This is about discouraging voting, plain and simple. IF it was about voter fraud, why was nothing done about absentee voting, where there was proved fraud? Because that would have affected R's in equal proportion to D's. Bald political power is what this is about.

bald political power? mitch is the poster child ;)

TDW says, "If they understood the law they'd realize that to get that provisional vote to count, the voter must physically go to a clerk's office of their county and prove they are who they say they are. Why must a voter go through all kinds of hoops to vote?"...Uh, if you know as much as you think you do, you would realize that it was your boy Eddie Mahern who ameded this into the photo ID bill. The original version would have allowed the voter to show it later on election day, or sign the indegent voter, or religious objection affidavit at the time they cast the ballot. His sneaky attempt at adding a provision to hurt the law backfired...nice one slick!

The fundamental reason why this VID law is wrong is that the burden of proof is now on the voter to prove their identity and not on the state to prove that said voter is not, well, said voter. I wouldn't have as much of a problem with this VID law if the provision for an affidavit affirming the voter's identity hadn't been removed entirely.

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