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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Courts - Does it seem like it is always the nuns?

"Nuns' ballots rejected in state Supreme Court recount" is the headline to a May 4th story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reported by Bill Glauber. It begins:

The recount for the state Supreme Court race has come to this: Votes from nuns have been thrown out.

The unique twist in the race between Justice David Prosser and challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg came during the recount in Sauk County. There, ballots of Cistercian nuns from the Valley of Our Lady Monastery in Prairie du Sac were rejected.

The nuns live a contemplative, monastic life and support themselves by baking and distributing altar breads, according to their website.

On Friday, during the recount, it was noted that witness signatures were missing from 18 absentee ballots from the Town of Sumpter, where votes from the monastery are counted.

"Eighteen applications did not have a witness signature," said Alene Bolin, assistant corporation counsel for Sauk County. "I don't think all 18 were from the monastery. I think it has turned into, there were 18 nuns but I do remember one of the ballots was not from the convent."

Now recall this story by Jon Murray of the Indianapolis Star on the Indiana Supreme Court voter ID decision, headed "Indiana justices uphold voter ID law." Some quotes:
It argued the voter ID law had created a new qualification for voting and was being applied unequally to voters, violating the Equal Privileges and Immunities provision.

"In our view, however, the Voter ID Law's requirement that an in-person voter present a government-issued photo identification card containing an expiration date is merely regulatory in nature," the state Supreme Court's opinion says.

But the court ruled only on the general constitutional challenge, holding open the door for the possibility of a more specific challenge to the law by otherwise qualified voters actually kept from voting by the ID requirement. Opponents have cited some circumstances, including a dozen nuns in St. Joseph County in Northern Indiana who weren't allowed to cast ballots in the 2008 primary because they lacked valid IDs.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 5, 2011 04:23 PM
Posted to Courts in general