A reader sends along the following thoughts:
While I firmly believe the Voter ID initiatives by several states are politically aimed at voter suppression among blacks and other minorities,I found myself being able to identify personally with the effects as explained by a Pennsylvania Congressman on the PBS News Hour the day the decision was handed down by the Commonwealth Judge. If the Congressman was correct in his explanation, one affected category of voter affected was military retirees. He explained that in Pa. all Picture IDs, Driver’s Licenses or Military IDs have to be current and reflect an expiration date. As military retiree, my military ID Card does not have an expiration date. It simply says Indefinite since I’m a retiree. It seems Pa. will not accept the Military ID Card of a retired serviceperson. My spouse’s military ID card does currently reflect an expiration date. Under current regulations however when she turns 75 she has to get a final ID Card that will reflect Indefinite just like mine. So if we were residents of Pa. and had become too old and infirm to drive, neither of us could use the military ID. True we would be able to get some sort of picture ID from the Motor Vehicle Registration offices but you get the gist. I’m sure the adverse impact of this law is worse for the minorities and I don’t know the total numbers of older military retirees that this affects but if it’s more than one it’s too damned many. I also wonder if other states have made similar decisions.
Is this correct under PA law? Anyone too infirm to drive would likely be entitled to an absentee ballot, which is one way to deal with this problem.