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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Voter ID – It started with 10 Nuns in Indiana

This story is the basis of chapter 29 of Greg Palast’s Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps available now in bookstores and on-line. Or for a donation to TheMudflats of $100 (using the donate button at right) get a signed copy by Greg Palast (and if you like I’ll sign it too…).

You’re probably asking why am I publishing a story that’s 4 years old – well, Indiana was the testing ground for Voter ID laws.
When Indiana was allowed by the Supreme Court to force people to have voter id in the elections it set the national precedent that the Voter ID was not only ok – but Constitutional. That scared the sh*t out of me. When I get scared – I call my Reverend.have spread like a cancer across the country. Behind the scenes of this story are the men that brought us the fiasco of the 2004 election, they’re also some of the folks running the “Tea Party” group True The Vote that everyone is talking about – that actually is even more astro-turf than the Tea Party itself (I’m currently working on a larger explainer on this story, so it will soon be laid out for everyone to see here in TheMudflats).

“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 Many of them had out of date ID but that wasn’t good enough for the Hoosier states new federal sanctioned ID law.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 there certainly was more to come.

Find out more about the ways they’re trying to stop you from voting in Billionaires & Ballot Bandits by Greg Palast – with an intro by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.


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).



18 Responses to “Voter ID – It started with 10 Nuns in Indiana”
  1. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

    This is off topic but very relevant to AK.

    This article at KOS links to the original source at Business Insider.

    Make partcular note of the relatively minor amount of actual oil and gas that can be recovered from this exploitation of the Arctic Ocean in the final paragraph….

    • Zyxomma says:

      Thank you, Krubozumo Nyankoye, for that dismal read.

    • mike from iowa says:

      I posted this in the SCJ opinion site for malcontents who claim oil co. don;t receive subsidies and we can safely drill anywhere. They will,of course,accuse the Coast Guard of being biased against big oil. That is their only defense.Reminds me of the Brady Bunch episode-it’s always Bias,Bias,Bias instead of Marcia,Marcia,Marcia.

  2. mike from iowa says:

    Let’s talk Indiana politics-a game that is rigged by rethuglicans to benefit rethuglicans. Current guv Daniels has been appointed President of Purdue University,a job he will ascend to in January when his term as guv ends. He doesn’t appear to have any educational qualifications except that as guv he appointed or re-appointed eight of the ten board of trustees who chose him to be President of Purdue.Must be his magnetic personality or the fact that he is not an Obama fan. Actual qualifications,by any other name,don’t seem to be required of the party of no. Doesn’t seem to be a concern of rwnj voters,either. Mittens has lower favorable ratings than dumbass dubya,who was recently voted least popular living ex-potus.

    • mike from iowa says:

      As a political aside,I shot me a rather large,malodorous mustelid down the lane aways,less than an hour ago. Wasn’t sure at first why it reminded me of politics and elections at least until the wind switched and mikey was of a sudden downwind. Them critters,like some politicians say so much without uttering a coherent sentence.

  3. Zyxomma says:

    Let’s subvert their subversion of our electoral process. If, for example, you own a vehicle, offer a ride to the DMV to help your fellows get an ID with which they can vote. FInd out what they must bring for a photo ID, and tell them (usually, it’s a birth certificate, Social Security card, and proof of current address like a phone or electric bill). If you have a large vehicle, so much the better. Fill it up with people lacking acceptable ID, take them where they need to go, and bring your knitting or reading material to make the wait go more easily.

    If you’d love to do this, but don’t know people who need your help, a church, veterans organization, or other civic-minded group can probably help.

    We are all in this together.

  4. beth. says:

    just a quick “Whaaaaa?” from me…

    Paragraph 2, above, has: “That scared the sh*t out of me. When I get scared – I call my Reverend.have spread like a cancer across the country. Behind the scenes of this story are …”

    to which I respond:

    Whaaaaa? Some words have been dropped? Or added? Or are showing up in the wrong place? Whaaaaa? thanks, beth.

  5. Zach Roberts says:

    Make it an open thread! Spreading the word about this stuff is why I work for peanuts in journalism.

  6. Zyxomma says:

    It’s small wonder the RWNJs are always screaming about voter fraud — they’re engaging in it!

    WARNING: Do not read if you have high blood pressure or another medical condition that will be aggravated by anger.

    • Zyxomma says:

      p.s. I know this isn’t an open thread, but I’m trying to clean up politics. Join me!

      • Lacy Lady says:

        I got a call this morning. I looked up the number and see that it came from Washington DC.
        They were asking for a $250.00 donation. I pressed the number for the person taking the “credit card” number. When she came on the line—–I told her that if I got anymore calls from them I would sue their ass. Then I hung up the phone.
        I am sick of all these calls. They start around 9:00 AM and last until around 9:00 in the evening.
        I have also got calls from Arizona.

    • COalmostNative says:

      CO GOP just fired the same firm; the illustrious chairman said they didn’t have any problems with the firm so far, but they have “zero tolerance” for that kind of behavior.


    • mike from iowa says:

      I posted a similar page on the open thread. They hadn’t been fired as of then. Sproul was in charge of five other states as well.

      • COalmostNative says:

        He was connected to vote fraud in 2004 and 2008; he candidly said the GOP made him change the name of his company so they could hire him this year.

        They want to win by hook or by crook… Mostly by crook.

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  1. […] wasn’t The Tea Party essentially funded by a group of racist white people that tried pushing Voter ID to stop minority people from voting? And didn’t they support cutting back on early voting, […]

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