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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Name:
Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Friday, June 06, 2008

Voter ID Dispute

The U. S. Supreme Court recently upheld Indiana's law requiring photo voter ID at the polls, and the state held its party primaries on May 6. Here's a letter from the June 4 Readers' Forum of the Terre Haute News:

... . I have a little different twist on my experience at the polls May 6.

I arrived to vote with the most sacred identification card I’ve ever owned and was told I could not use it because it did not have a numbered expiration date on it. I tried to tell them I gave 21 years of my life earning the privilege of having this ID card and protecting their freedom to vote.

Their response was, “Do you have an Indiana drivers license?” Which I do but will not use to exercise my freedom to vote because my ID card, which I cherish very much, is the one the United States Uniformed Services issued me when I retired from the Armed Forces.

There is no numbered date entered on this kind of ID card. Just an entry of "indefinite."

You see, they have no idea when the person with this type of ID card will expire, and when he or she expires the card expires. I could not get this across to the folks at the precinct. I picked up my ID card and walked out.

While I was waiting outside for my wife to vote, a lady from the precinct come out with a paper and a picture on it to ask me if that picture was what my ID card looked like. It was exactly what my card looked like, and it was a legal ID source to vote with.

She begged me to come back in and vote. I was so upset I nearly turned her down, but my wife encouraged me to vote as I went back in and got my ballot to vote. I want to apologize to the folks at the precinct for causing the uproar, and I want to say I’m sorry to the sweet elderly lady that give me my ballot to vote, then leaned forward and whispered in my ear, “Thank you for coming back and voting.”

As I walked away from the table with my ballot a second lady still insisted I needed a numbered expiration date on my retiree ID card. Do they not retain any of the information they are given and remember the rules before they go to work in the precinct on election day? What a day! But it’s over.

— Russell Mendenhall
Rockville, Indiana

Note: And we can't even get the Mississippi House of Representatives to pass a bill requiring non-photo voter ID!

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