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Photo ID Law Bars Veteran from the Polls

David Callahan

Thanks to primary elections in states with new voter ID laws, we are beginning to get a better taste of just what these laws mean for ordinary voters. We have heard, for example, about how elderly African-Americans in the south have found themselves once again barred from voting -- as they were in the Jim Crow era -- because they don't have photo IDs.

Well here's another disturbing story to add to the list: a veteran who was turned away from the polls in Pennsylvania:

Phyllis Reinhardt spent two years in the Air Force in the 1950s and 23 years in the Army Reserve, retiring in 1995, earning herself a veteran's administration identification card.

But on Tuesday at the voting polls, a poll worker confirmed the Scranton resident's suspicion that, because the card doesn't have an expiration date printed on it, the federally issued photo card will not work in November's election.

Ms. Reinhardt said she finds the exclusion of the military card because of its lack of expiration date unacceptable, especially for veterans who might not have another form of photo identification.

"This is a card today, not only have you raised your hand to defend this country with your life if necessary, if you carry this card you have been injured. And you, the state Pennsylvania, won't accept it? I find that extremely offensive," Ms. Reinhardt, 72, said.

We are with you, Ms. Reinhardt. That is offensive.