A Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin man has refused to vote after being rejected at the polls for attempting to use his veteran’s ID. As reported by Cara Spoto in The Journal Times:
A local man wasn’t allowed to use his veteran’s card to vote in Tuesday’s primary and he’s pretty steamed about it.
Gil Paar, 69, of Mount Pleasant, said he went to his polling place, Peace Lutheran Church, and when asked by poll workers to provide the ID, he handed over his U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs card. The poll workers said the ID, which includes Paar’s photo, wasn’t considered an acceptable form of identification under the state’s new voter ID law, Paar says. They asked him if he had a driver’s license he could offer. He did, he said. But he refused to show it and didn’t vote.
“Basically I was trying to make a point,” Paar said. “I gave them four years of my life, why shouldn’t I be able to use my vet’s card?”
Paar said he was shocked to learn that the card, which he uses to receive his VA benefits, isn’t an acceptable form of ID under the law, noting that VA cards are the only form of identification some veterans have. He has already reached out to the VA about the problem as well as to the offices of Sen. Herb Kohl and state Rep. Robert Turner, D-Racine, he said.
Wisconsin’s new voter ID law, signed by Governor Scott Walker last May, has thrown up barriers to voting in that state, particularly for seniors, minorities, and students. Many colleges and universities in Wisconsin are struggling to provide free IDs to students that meet the restrictive new guidelines, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to some schools.
New and restrictive voting laws in states across the country are threatening to keep as many as five million voters from casting a ballot this November. Many of these laws remove early access to voting; make it more difficult for citizens to register; or require restrictive photo ID cards that many seniors, minorities and students do not have. That’s why Education Votes now features a dedicated page on voter protection, where you can learn how these misguided laws may impact you and how to respond if anyone tries to limit your right to vote.