Tough ID laws could block thousands of 2012 vote

Last Updated: Sunday, July 8, 2012 - 22:38

Washington: When Edward and Mary Weidenbener went to vote in Indiana`s primary in May, they didn`t realise that state law required them to bring government photo IDs such as a passport or driver`s license.

The husband and wife, both approaching 90 years old, had to use a temporary ballot that would be verified later, even though they knew the people working the polling site that day.

Unaware that Indiana law obligated them to follow up with the county election board, the Weidenbeners ultimately had their votes rejected, news to them until informed recently by an Associated Press reporter.

Edward Weidenbener, a World War II veteran who had voted for Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential contest, said he was surprised by the rules and the consequences.

Washington: When Edward and Mary Weidenbener went to vote in Indiana`s primary in May, they didn`t realise that state law required them to bring government photo IDs such as a passport or driver`s license.

The husband and wife, both approaching 90 years old, had to use a temporary ballot that would be verified later, even though they knew the people working the polling site that day.

Unaware that Indiana law obligated them to follow up with the county election board, the Weidenbeners ultimately had their votes rejected, news to them until informed recently by an Associated Press reporter.

Edward Weidenbener, a World War II veteran who had voted for Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential contest, said he was surprised by the rules and the consequences.

Thousands more votes could be in jeopardy for this November, when more states with larger populations are looking to have similar rules in place.

More than two dozen states have some form of ID requirement, and 11 of those passed new rules over the past two years largely at the urging of Republicans who say they want to prevent fraud.

Democrats and voting rights groups fear that ID laws could suppress votes among people who may not typically have a driver`s license, and disproportionately affect the elderly, poor, minorities and young voters.

While the number of votes is a small percentage of the overall total, they have the potential to sway a close election.

The 2000 presidential race was decided in George W. Bush`s favor by a 537-vote margin in Florida.

A Republican leader in Pennsylvania said recently that the state`s new ID law would allow Romney to win the state over President Barack Obama.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, July 8, 2012 - 22:38

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