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Originally published Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Indiana's voter-ID law hits nuns, college kids

A dozen nuns and an unknown number of students were turned away from polls Tuesday in the first use of Indiana's stringent voter-ID law...

Los Angeles Times

A dozen nuns and an unknown number of students were turned away from polls Tuesday in the first use of Indiana's stringent voter-ID law since it was upheld last week by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The nuns, all residents of a retirement home at Saint Mary's Convent near Notre Dame, were denied ballots by a fellow sister and poll worker because the women, in their 80s and 90s, did not have valid Indiana photo-ID cards.

"One came down this morning, and she was 98, and she said, 'I don't want to go do that,' " Sister Julie 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 Some showed up with outdated passports.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, McGuire said.

While state officials reported no significant problems, advocates monitoring polling places said there was occasional confusion.

"We were at one polling place for a few hours and picked up three or four different stories of people being turned away," said Gary Kalman, of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group in Washington.

"I don't have numbers about how widespread it is."

Indiana requires voters who come to the polls to show a photo ID issued by the state or the federal government.

The law was pressed by Republicans citing voter fraud and opposed by Democrats and the American Civil Liberties Union, who said that it would disenfranchise voters.

The law does not recognize out-of-state driver's licenses, a problem for college students.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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