Wednesday, March 07, 2012
86-Year Old WW2 Vet Denied the Right to Vote in Ohio
About 7 weeks ago, we published a blog article detailing the extraordinary efforts Republicans were taking to prevent citizens from voting. In an election when the GOP is seriously reviving the social issue of contraception, it has occurred to them that the only way to win in many swing states this November is to erect obstacles to voting for the poor, minorities, youth, those for whom English is not a native language, and the elderly, all of whom are ‘suspect’ as Democratic sympathizers. (Full article can be found here )
In the wake of the “Super Tuesday” primaries, their efforts are being realized:
Paul Carroll, an 86-year-old World War II veteran who has lived in the same Ohio town for forty years, who has trouble walking and was driven to the polls, was denied the right to vote yesterday after a poll worker denied the validity of his identification.
His ID Card?
A US Government-issued Department of Veterans Affairs Card.
It was rejected by Portage, Ohio poll workers because the ID did not contain an address, as required by the new Ohio law.
Carroll said he had obtained the card from the VA because he doesn’t drive anymore: “I had to stop driving, but I got the photo ID from the Veterans Affairs instead, just a month or so ago. You would think that would count for something. I went to war for this country, but now I can’t vote in this country.”
Carroll’s story echoes what other seniors, many of whom no longer drive, are finding: Tennessee voter authorities denied a 96-year-old woman a voter ID last year because she didn’t have an original copy of her marriage license. NYU Law School has estimated that up to 11% of all otherwise eligible voters – 21 million Americans - do not have the requisite ID being required by the new GOP Voter-Suppression statutes.
GOP efforts to suppress voting have included new laws aimed at requiring government-issued Voter ID Cards with photos and addresses, limiting the locations where such photo IDs can be obtained to offices located far from minority population centers, requiring IDs at polling places when no existing state laws require them, restricting new Voter Registration Drives and imposing stiff fines for errors, banning felons from voting, and banning college students from voting where they attend school.
Carroll was eventually allowed to use a provisional ballot, but the 86 year old admitted to being emotionally distraught at that point, and was further upset by the fact that the print on the provisional ballot was too small for him to read.
Again, the full GOP ‘plan’ and its effects can be found at my Martin Luther King Jr. Day post.