Voter ID requirement may challenge residents

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The Supreme Court's decision Monday to uphold a photo-identification law for Indiana voters may have negative repercussions for nursing home residents, experts say. The ruling may make it more difficult for many seniors to cast votes in future elections, they say.

Critics believe the ruling could pose problems for elderly people who don't have or need photo identification, as well as the poor and other disadvantaged groups. Some legal observers also believe the court's 6-3 vote could embolden more states to adopt similar mandates. Currently, 21 states have voter identification laws and others are considering them.

The Indiana law's supporters, mainly Republicans, say it is needed to deter voter fraud and improve public confidence in the electoral process.
"The effect of the loss ... will begin to be felt next week when Indiana holds its presidential primary using the voter ID law the court has just upheld," said Nathaniel Persily, an election law expert at Colombia University in New York. Those without a photo ID can vote provisionally on election day but then must go to a government office to provide their identity within 10 days.