In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling that Indiana’s voter ID law is constitutional, about 12 Indiana nuns were turned away Tuesday from a polling place because they didn’t have state or federal identification bearing a photograph.
Another person who attempted to vote with a federal ID card was turned away because the card had no expiration date on it, and a woman who was newly married was turned away because her driver’s license name didn’t match the one on her voter registration record.
You can check out the full story here.
Instances like these are the reason why voter ID laws reduce turnout. In Wisconsin, the impact of a voter ID requirement on specific segments of our population is indisputable. A 2005 UW-Milwaukee study found that fewer than half of African-American and Latino adults had photo ID. The situation was even worse for young adults ages 18-24, with only 26 percent of African-Americans and 34 percent of Latinos possessing a valid license, compared to 71 percent of young white adults. The same study found that an estimated 23 percent of persons aged 65 and over do not have a Wisconsin driver’s license or a photo ID. In 2005, the Wisconsin State Journal further reported at least 177,000 people were found to have no form of state-issued photo ID. And an investigation of the hours of all DMV offices in Wisconsin reveals that 33% of Wisconsin’s DMV offices, where one theoretically could register to vote, are open less than 4 days a month – further raising barriers to registration and discouraging turnout.
The recent experience in Indiana just shows that this fear-mongering over voter fraud has got to stop. Can I get an amen?
UPDATE: Score one for the nuns in Wisconsin, maybe