Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Court-sanctioned voter suppression in Indiana

Posted in Supreme Court by allisonkilkenny on May 7, 2008

Thanks to Sarah Lane at EENR for supplying the links in this entry.


When the Supreme (Kangaroo) Court upheld an unconstitutional poll tax last week that was passed in the form of a voter suppression law in Indiana, some people (like Injustice Antonin Scalia) were quick to dismiss the horrendous effects. But as that state held its primary yesterday, reports about voters being turned away because they did not have the poll tax began coming out.

Twelve elderly nuns–NUNS, for crying out loud–were told they could not vote because they didn’t have the required state or federal ID card. They are all in their eighties and nineties. Vietnam and Gulf War I veteran Russell Baughman was denied his right to vote, because his identification wasn’t considered good enough.

People unable to obtain the draconian Indiana poll tax ID–nuns, veterans, the disabled, students, and poor folk–are being denied their right to vote. Denied because they cannot meet the requirements to obtain state-issued identification. Bradblog reports that in order to obtain the necessary items to get a state-issued identification card (a state-issued copy of one’s birth certificate), a state-issued identification card is needed. It’s a vicious and ultimately dangerous catch-22, making it impossible for the disenfranchised to meet the poll tax requirement. Bradblog also reports that at least 43,000 Indiana residents have been prevented from exercising their right to vote in this fashion.

This is what the Supremes upheld, ladies and gentlemen. Twenty states, including Ohio, have mandatory ID laws designed to suppress the votes of minorities, the elderly, students, veterans, and the poor (an economic situation that affects all the other categories of disenfranchised to one degree or another). Although the Buckeye State was able to counter this in part by allowing fewer restrictions on absentee voting, others–including Indiana–enjoy no such protections. This is what America has come to: another banana republic, another dictatorship, that suppresses the rights of its citizens and engages in sham elections.

One Response

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  1. lisa said, on May 8, 2008 at 5:27 am

    Unfortunately I think we became a “banana republic” a long time ago. Just ask Florida voters in 2000. As far as I can tell our legal President is still Al Gore.

    Obviously we got the short end of the stick on that one. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d much prefer the Nobel Prize winner to the man who thinks nuclear is pronounced Nuke-u-lar.


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