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Web letter by Donald Crook: Don’t let Republicans deprive you of your vote

All Democrats’ votes are needed to stop the insane ideas the Republicans want pushed on the voters. Here is how to overcome some of the measures that Republicans have put into law to stop you from voting.

Indiana’s voter ID requirement was passed in 2005 to stop voter fraud. (I ask any Republican to give us any case of voter fraud before or after 2005.) To meet the requirements of this law there are four criteria that must be met. The ID must:

1. Display your photo.

2. Display your name, which must conform to your voter registration record. Conform does not mean identical.

3. Display an expiration date and either be current or have expired sometime since the date of the last general election (Nov. 2, 2010).

4. Be issued by the state of Indiana or the U.S. government, such as an Indiana driver’s license, military ID, U.S. passport or student ID from an Indiana state school (if it meets the four criteria).

If you are unable or unwilling to present ID meeting these requirements, you may cast a provisional ballot. If you cast a provisional ballot, you have until noon 10 days after the election to follow up with the county election board and either provide the necessary documentation or affirm that one of the law’s exemptions applies to you.

You can get an exemption if your are indigent, have a religious objection to being photographed or live in a state-licensed facility that serves as your precinct polling place.

To receive an exemption you must go the polls on Election Day and cast a provisional ballot. Within 10 days you must report to the county election board and affirm that an exemption applies to you. You can also vote absentee in person at the election office and affirm your exemption.

If you qualify to vote absentee-by-mail or absentee-by-traveling abroad, you are not required to show a photo ID. There are nine reasons for voting absentee:

1. You will be absent from the county the entire 12 hours of Election Day.

2. Disability.

3. You are at least 65 years of age.

4. You have official election duties outside of your precinct.

5. You are scheduled to work the entire 12 hours of Election Day.

6. You will be confined by illness or injury.

7. You are prevented by religious discipline or holiday.

8. You are a participant in the state’s address confidentially program.

9. You are a member of the military or a public safety office.

Here’s what you need to get a state-issued ID.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles must issue you a photo ID. It is free. You can go to IN.Gov/BMV for the list of documents needed.

In general: Identity: Only one needed, birth certificate, certificate of citizenship, certificate of naturalization, etc.

Lawful status: same documents as above.

Indiana residency: two documents required (Change of address confirmation, utility company bill, credit card, doctor or hospital bill issued in last 60 days, etc.).

Social Security number: one document. (Card, W2 form, 1099 form, pay stub showing number.)

If you need a ride to the BMV, check with a local Democrat. Please, become an informed voter.

DONALD CROOK

Decatur

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