Subject: follow-up from Austin paper
From: "Meghan Ashford-Grooms" <mashford-grooms@statesman.com>
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2011 13:25:46 -0600
To: Meghan Ashford-Grooms <mashford-grooms@statesman.com>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bonnet, Jerry (SOS)
Date: Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 9:09 AM
Subject: RE: follow-up from Austin paper
To: Meghan Ashford-Grooms <mashford79@gmail.com>
Cc: "Thomas, Jason L. (SOS)"

Megan:

 

Our state has been nearly shut down for the past two days due to the ice storm and we are quite focused on getting things back in order.  Unfortunately at this time I am not able to continue to contribute to your investigation of the “nun story” issue with you.

 

It is my understanding that some nuns presented themselves for in-person voting on election day (2008 Primary) without an acceptable form of government issued photo-ID.  According to newspaper accounts, the law was properly applied and the nuns were not allowed to cast a regular ballot.  I am not aware of any formal complaint being filed with the Secretary of State, Indiana Election Commission, Indiana Election Division, Indiana Help America Vote Office or federal or county election officials.   

 

It is my understanding that the extent to which the state offers voting alternatives to registered voters who cannot (or will not) present a photo ID at the polls on election day was an issue considered by both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Indiana Supreme Court.  In both cases, the courts were satisfied that Indiana offers reasonable voting alternatives for individuals who are not able or willing to present an acceptable photo-ID for in-person voting on election day. 

 

Ultimately, I do not believe that whether or not the nuns actually had an acceptable form of ID was an issue weighing on either the application of the law when they attempted to vote, or in either state or federal court cases involving Indiana’s application of its photo-ID voting requirement.   Based on newspaper accounts it is my understanding that someone, other than the nuns themselves, determined that a post-election trip to the county election board to validate provisional ballots was not feasible.

 

Truly yours,

 

Jerry Bonnet

 

Jerold A. Bonnet, General Counsel

Office of the Indiana Secretary of State