ALSO: Voting Machine, Registration Roll Problems Reported to National Election Protection Hotline...
By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2008, 1:37pm PT  

The non-partisan Election Protection coalition offers a mid-day press release detailing some of the problems being reported to their 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline today from both Indiana and North Carolina.

The Supreme Court's recent, outrageous approval of Indiana's restrictive and disenfranchising Photo ID law --- better described as their Voter Suppression Act, despite Scalia's claim that "the burden at issue is minimal," to him, anyway --- is already "working" to disenfranchise legal voters, denying them their right to cast ballots like everyone else.

According to EP, it's not just veterans, elderly, and minorities who are being affected by the ruling, so are young voters and, yes, nuns, who have reportedly already been disenfranchised today under the Republican law...

This morning, in South Bend, Indiana, a freshman student at St. Mary's College, excited to vote for the first time, left the polling place in tears because she only possessed a private college ID and was unable to vote. The poll workers, nuns at a local convent, were trying to help the young student through her problem. While they were helping her, they realized that some of their fellow nuns, who had just arrived at the polling place, also could not vote because of the photo ID law. Not only was this group of nuns disenfranchised, but so would be four floors of retired nuns in their convent.

Remember, the law was upheld by the Supremes just last week, despite Indiana's inability to point to a single instance of in-person, polling place, voter impersonation fraud (the type of "voter fraud" the law was purportedly meant to deter) in the entire history of the state.

UPDATE: Brad Jacobson has more on the dangerous "roaming pack of octogenarian and nonagenarian hooligans [nuns, who] attempted to exercise their right to vote," including one of them, a clearly-up-to-no-good, 98 year-old, trouble maker who Catholic Antonin Scalia and friends don't believe deserves the right to cast a ballot.

Additional updates at the end of this article, including details on the evil nuns, a newly married woman, and more disenfranchised students.

Milwaukee Magazine's Bruce Murphy notes today that if a study recently done in Wisconsin correlates to numbers in Indiana, as many as 620,000 citizens in the Hoosier State might lack the Photo ID needed to cast votes there. That, even as the state downplayed the numbers in the SCOTUS case, arguing that there were only 43,000 such voters there. The authors of the WI study were unable to check the same numbers in Indiana, because "the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles would not provide the data needed to do the study," reports Murphy.

EP's news release goes on to list a number of other incidents being reported (if not yet by the corporate media) so far during voting today in IN and NC both, including multiple reports of voting machines problems; paper ballots not being offered to voters when machines go down; registered Independent voters being disallowed from voting in either party's primary; or voters being given Republican ballots when they believed they were registered as Democrats.

A few of the specific incidents as reported by EP so far, (which we post along with the usual caveat that frequently the most serious concerns do not come to light, if ever, until the days and weeks following such e-elections) include, from Indiana...

  • Multiple reports of voting machine problems, including from a school teacher who had to leave without casting a ballot because he had to get to school before classes started. Additionally, he said the mostly African-American voters were untrusting that the poll workers would ensure their votes would count.
  • At another polling place, voters were not offered paper ballots when machines went down, and countless voters left without casting a ballot.
  • A voter, previously convicted of a misdemeanor, was prevented from voting by a poll worker. Election Protection provided him with the code provision which dictates that only those convicted of a felony and those incarcerated cannot vote.

...and from North Carolina...

  • Poll workers at a local precinct announced at 6:20 a.m. that there were no ballots and voters were sent home. Election Protection followed up and discovered that the polling place had the ballots in a box which had not been opened.
  • Election Protection has also received multiple reports of registered Independents who were not allowed to vote in either primary, or were given Republican ballots despite believing they were registered as Democrats at polling sites.

FURTHER UPDATE: More from AP on the nuns, and others disenfranchised by Indiana today, their article headlined "Indiana nuns lacking ID denied at poll by fellow sister"...

The nuns, all in their 80s or 90s...weren't given provisional ballots because it would be impossible to get them to a motor vehicle branch and back within the 10 days 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."

Nonetheless, she said, the convent will make a "very concerted effort" to get proper identification for the nuns in time for the general election. "We're going to take from now until November to get them out and get this done.

"You can't do this like school kids on a bus," she said. "I wish we could."
One newly married woman said she was told she couldn't vote because her driver's license name didn't match the one on her voter registration record
According to the New Voters Project, sponsored by Student Public Interest Groups, about a dozen college students at Notre Dame, Butler University and Indiana University said they were told at the polls they didn't have the right form of identification.

Angela Hiss, a 19-year-old sophomore at Notre Dame, presented her Notre Dame ID card and her Illinois driver's license. Poll workers did not inform her that she could have cast a provisional ballot, she told project staff monitoring her polling place.

Why do Republicans hate nuns, students, and married people?

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