A state Supreme Court justice on Tuesday urged Gov. Scott Walker to allow people to use veterans ID cards to vote after her uncle who fought at Iwo Jima was unable to cast a ballot in last week’s primary election. “It makes no sense to me that this proud patriot with a veterans card displaying his photo would be turned away from the polls and denied the right to vote,” Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote to the Republican governor. In her letter, Bradley said her uncle had fought at Iwo Jima, the bloody World War II battle that was immortalized in a photo of the U.S. flag being raised on the tiny Pacific island. Tuesday marked the 71st anniversary of the 1945 flag raising.
Bradley’s uncle, Leo Olson of Reedsburg, tried to use his veterans ID card to vote in last week’s primary for a seat on the state Supreme Court, but that form of identification can’t be used under the state’s voter ID law. Olson does not have a driver’s license.
That could soon change because of legislation the state Senate is to take up next month. Even if approved, it may not be in place for the April 5 election, when voters will decide the state Supreme Court race and cast ballots in the presidential primaries.
“He considers voting part of his patriotic duty,” Bradley wrote to Walker. “Yet, last week this proud patriot of 90 years of age was embarrassed and confused when he went to the polls and was denied his right to vote. “When he presented his veterans administration card with his picture on it, he was told that the card was not listed as ‘acceptable’ proof of his identity. He responded: ‘You mean veterans can’t vote?'”