Is Arlington Cemetery disenfranchising the poor and minorities with new visitation rules requiring photo ID to enter?

Sunrise in Section 35 of Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, Oct. 25, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser/ Arlington National Cemetery / released)

ARLINGTON, VA – New rules in place at Arlington National Cemetery might be disenfranchising the poor and minorities who may not have access to a government issued identification card.

According to the cemetery’s new COVID-19 entry policy, all visitors 16 years of age and older must show a valid photo identification before entering the cemetery.

“Effective immediately, all visitors 16 years of age and older (pedestrians, drivers and passengers) must present a valid photo identification upon entering the cemetery,” the rules state. “Visitors include all funeral attendees, tourists and personnel on official business. School group leaders and tour guides must also present the required identification. Original documentation is required. Paper copies or cell phone photos of identification are not accepted.”

President Joe Biden who has argued against voter identification cards for voters has said requiring identification to vote is an “attempt to repress minority voting masquerading as an attempt to end corruption.”

Is Arlington National Cemetery repressing the minority right to visit their loved ones?

Here’s what adults need to get into Arlington:

Visitors 18 years of age and older must present a valid U.S. state or federal government-issued photo identification for entry. Visitors 16 and 17 years old who do not have a U.S. state or federal government-issued photo identification may present an official school-issued photo identification for entry. Persons who are not U.S. citizens must present a valid passport or U.S. State Department-issued photo identification for entry.

All visitors to the cemetery must now also be physically screened before entering.

“Arlington National Cemetery aims to ensure the safety and security of all visitors and employees. The cemetery requires all visitors to go through physical security screening, in addition to identification checks and other security measures,” the cemetery website said. “You may request screening by pat-down instead of screening by technology. Pat-down screening will be conducted in private.”

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