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Nuns on the Run in Indiana, story at 11

May 15, 2008

“Rev. Jackson Says ID laws are “undermining democracy”

So have you heard the one about the 12 nuns that walked into a polling place in Indiana and tried to vote?

It’s probably the only thing you’ve heard from Indiana from the primary. May 6th 2010 10 sisters of the cloth, most of them in their eighties and nineties were denied the right to vote because they didn’t have the right kind of picture ID. Many of them had out of date ID but that wasn’t good enough for the Hoosier states new federal sanctioned ID law.

I guess the Secretary of State or the SCOTUS won’t take G-O-D’s word for it.

Ok, so it’s not so much a joke, but under the habit is a bigger story.

The lowball estimate put out by the Democratic Party is 40,000 people were going to lose their right to vote because of Indiana’s new ID law.

Secretary of State, Todd Rokita, ever the straight man responded to the nun story, “Indiana’s Voter ID Law applies to everyone.” Sister Donna Marie, my religious Ed teacher would have called that tough love… and followed it up with a slap across the wrist with her ruler.

As Courtney Love once screamed “Tough love doesn’t work.”

This tough love applies more to some people than to others. THOSE people just so happen to have two colors, black and blue.

Let’s have a look at the numbers:

African American’s make up 9% of the Indiana electorate, which ends up being around 400,000 voters. A recent University of Washington Study found that 28% of them don’t have ID.
That’s over 100,000 people instantly disenfranchised.

In a state that Hillary won the Indiana primary by only 14,000 votes, 100,000 pieces of plastic makes a big difference. Especially in a demographic that votes 9 to one Obama.

The ID laws that Jesse Jackson  in an interview said are “undermining democracy” aren’t just  affecting black people.

Angela Hiss and Allyson Miller both students at Notre Dame were denied the right to vote because they didn’t have the right kind of ID – one that listed their dorm rooms as their residence.

Sujatha Jahagirdar said that her group, INPirg (Indiana Public Interest Research Group)  had people watching just a handful of polling places and found a dozen students turned away, adding “we can only  guess that this was happening all over the place.”

The Young, the old and the minorities – all are hit hard by this law and all statistically Barack Obama voters…  so one must ask:

So how did we get here?

On April 28, 2008 the United States Supreme Court  in their almighty wisdom blessed Indiana’s voter ID law which Terence Evans, the dissenting Court of Appeals judge called “a not-too-thinly-veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic.” Justice Souter equated them to the poll taxes of the old south in the courts dissenting opinion.

Indiana is just one of many states that have been making it tougher to vote. Georgia, Louisiana, Arizona and Missouri have all jumped on the bandwagon with introducing, or passing their own laws to  prevent “vote fraud.” Vote fraud, something that former US Attorney David Iglesias after years of investigations never found one prosecutorial case. For this he was fired. In the film, by Greg Palast, “The Election Files” Iglesias called this the Republican “boogeyman.” It didn’t exist.

In 1965 Reverend Martin Luther King walked 56 miles from Selma Alabama to Montgomery for the right to vote. Justice Scalia only requires Indiana voters to walk 17: from the transcript of the trial “17 miles is 17 miles for the rich and the poor.”

I guess that when you have your own driver, you might lose a little bit of perspective. For the 98-year-old nun who’s devoted her life to help others find their way she’s on her own.

Why would Rokita and the Republicans that control Indiana create a law that hands the state to Hillary.

They didn’t. This is just a dry run for November to see if Obama would complain about the fix. He didn’t. Just as Gore and Kerry never did. So now we know the real winner of the Indiana Democratic Primary, the Republican Senator from Arizona, John McCain.


Right before I said goodbye to the good reverend from Chicago he warned ID Laws are just another of a  “Long line of impediments to open free and fair elections.” He’s right


Zach D. Roberts is the New York Bureau Chief for – he also contributed to the research for Greg Palast’s new book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits (2012).

The art shown in this piece is by Lloyd Dangle originally from Greg Palast and Robert F Kennedy Jr’s Steal Back Your Vote (2008).

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 11, 2009 8:01 pm

    Great affair, did not thought it was going to be so cool when I read your link.

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