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We study a lattice gauge theory in Wilson's Hamiltonian formalism. In view of the realization of a quantum simulator for QED in one dimension, we introduce an Abelian model with a discrete gauge symmetry Z_n, approximating the U(1) theory for large n. We analyze the role of the finiteness of the gauge fields and the properties of physical states, that satisfy a generalized Gauss's law. We finally discuss a possible implementation strategy, that involves an effective dynamics in physical space.doi:10.1088/1751-8113/48/30/30ft01 fatcat:nwe23bqnhzcxvkdpyorxguod3y