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Around the States

Nuns Turned Away from Polls Due to Indiana Photo ID Law PDF  | Print |  Email
By Deborah Hastings, Associated Press   
May 06, 2008
About 12 Indiana nuns were turned away Tuesday from a polling place by a fellow bride of Christ because they didn't have state or federal identification bearing a photograph.

Sister Julie McGuire (pictured at right) said she was forced to turn away her fellow sisters at Saint Mary's Convent in South Bend, across the street from the University of Notre Dame, because they had been told earlier that they would need such an ID to vote.

The nuns, all in their 80s or 90s, didn't get one but came to the precinct anyway.

"One came down this morning, and she was 98, and she said, 'I don't want to go do that,'" Sister McGuire said. Some showed up with outdated passports. None of them drives.

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."

Elsewhere across the pivotal state, voting appeared to run smoothly, despite the fears of some elections experts that the Supreme Court's recent refusal to strike down Indiana's controversial photo identification law could cause confusion at the polls.

In a primary expected to draw record numbers, a voter hot line set up by the secretary of state's office mostly received calls concerning precinct locations, spokeswoman Bethany Derringer said.

But a group of voting rights advocates that established a separate hot line reported receiving several calls from would-be voters who were turned away at precincts because they lacked state or federal identification bearing a photograph.

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