Indiana nuns lacking ID denied at poll by fellow sister

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 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 Some showed up with outdated passports.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.

They weren’t given provisional ballots because it would be impossible to get them to a motor vehicle branch and back in the 10-day time frame allotted by the law, Sister McGuire said. “You have to remember that some of these ladies don’t walk well. They’re in wheelchairs or on walkers or electric carts.”

So essentially, as the devout Catholic justice Antonin Scalia indicated, preventing nuns from voting is a “minimal and justified” consequence of a law intended to stop voter fraud.

Since the original opinion did not examine an “as applied” challenge by actual voters who show the law disadvantaged their right to vote, here’s hoping that the law will be challenged again; if not by the nuns, then by others who may also have been turned away.