Pennsylvania Judge Halts Voter ID Requirement

Good news for those fighting voter disenfranchisement, the AP reports:

PennsylvaniaCommonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson said in his ruling that he was concerned by the state's stumbling efforts to create a photo ID that is easily accessible to voters and that he could not rely on the assurances of government officials at this late date that every voter would be able to get a valid ID.

If it stands, it is good news for Obama's chances in Pennsylvania, one of the nation's biggest electoral college prizes, unless Republicans and the tea party groups that backed the law find a way to use it to motivate their supporters and possibly independents.

Simpson's ruling could be appealed to the state Supreme Court, although state officials weren't ready to say Tuesday whether they would appeal.

Comments

  1. ratbastard says

    We need a form of official photo ID in this country that EVERYBODY must have, separate from driver’s license, maybe connected to social security card, which is already used effectively as a form of ID that no one can function without. It’s ridiculous for a grown adult [18+] aside from a few mentally ill people, some homeless, etc. not to have a proper picture ID. And it’s sad the president’s campaign considers such people to be an important part of his winning an election.

    To not demand voters have the ability to properly identify themselves is of course ridiculous, and everybody reading this knows it.

  2. Tom says

    Everyone knows the real agenda of the ID laws is voter suppression. Mike Turzai, a republican house representative for Pennsylvania, admitted it: “Voter ID which is going to allow Governor Romney to win Pennsylvania – Done.”

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    “…aside from a few mentally ill people, some homeless, etc. not to have a proper picture ID”

    A birth certificate was one of the criteria demanded in order to get the Pennsylvania voter photo indentification card. Many Pennsylvanians do not have a birth certificate. If you were born outside of PA you’d have to pay to get one. That amounts to a poll tax.

    The head the Republican state party had the audacity to say that the effect of the law will still cause many people without a photo ID to not even try to vote. Democrats and their allies have 38 days to rectify that.

    Even if the law stands the Republicans didn’t get what they wanted on this one: to rig the 2012 presidential election through official voter suppression.

  4. Tom says

    Oh right… because the only way Obama will win Pennsylvania is with voter fraud. Too bad for you the polls show that Obama actually will win. Four more years of crying republicans, won’t that be fun.

  5. CHRISTOPHER I says

    The voter ID laws amount boil down to this: either the Republicans must admit that they are trying to disenfranchise minorities, or they must admit that they’re BLATANTLY accusing Democrats of voter fraud. Either way, it’s ridiculous and scummy and I’m not sure why people don’t call them out on it at every turn.

    Frankly, I AM more concerned about voter fraud now that this law was put on hold…but not from the Democrats.

  6. Chuck says

    It is ridiculous that this common sense law was stopped. It’s an ID and I have no problem with showing mine at the polling place. What about the disenfranchisement of the thousands of legal voters who have had their vote essentially nullified by illegals. I say IDs for all citizens who vote.

  7. MichaelJ says

    @Chuck: What “illegals” are you talking about? There has been evidence of only a very small number of non-citizens vote. There has been much more evidence of large numbers of citizens being disenfranchised by the purging of voter registration lists.

  8. Chuck says

    I know, in this day and age, I can’t believe that there would be illegally cast votes. I mean show your ID before you vote that is crazy. I mean its not like we live in a world where identity theft is a problem or you need an I’d to buy alcohol or tobacco products. Or obtain a loan or drive a car. Oh wait……

  9. Caliban says

    “Everyone knows the real agenda of the ID laws is voter suppression.”

    Bingo.

    Nobody has been able to demonstrate that voter fraud actually happens. There are only a dozen or so proven cases out of MILLIONS of votes. But to “stop voter fraud” you’re going to disenfranchise millions of voters, who coincidentally are from groups that tend to vote for Democrats?

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    Spend 20 minutes reading about Katherine Harris and the 2000 election. It will make your hair stand on end. Supposedly the goal was to keep convicted felons from voting. But they didn’t just remove convicted felons from the voter list, they removed people who had the SAME NAME as convicted felons, people who lived at the same address as felons, even those whose names had an alternate spelling! If your name was Jo Whyte, your name was removed from the voter rolls because Joe White is a felon. And they knew EXACTLY what they were doing.

  10. Icebloo says

    FINALLY someone stands up against this right wing corruption !

    WHY are Americans allowing this to happen ? America is getting as bad as Russia.

    SWITCH OFF THE TV & GET OUT THERE AND STOP THIS DISGUSTING CORRUPTION !

  11. PDX Guy says

    Whatever happened to a signature being enough ID to vote? Everyone has one, and they are free. You sign when you register, so your signature is on file to be compared to your ballot. That has worked just fine for a couple hundred years, what has changed all the sudden?

  12. LiamB says

    First off, Chuck, no evidence exist showing that there is a problem with illegals “nullifying” votes. Don’t be absurd. Secondly, there has been plenty of evidence of legal residents being disenfranchised by these voter ID laws. I might also point out that there does exist a problem where some cannot obtain ID simply because either their age, remoteness of birth place, or just bureaucratic snafu’s has interfered with their ability to provide a birth certificate. Hell, it once took my ex 6 months to get his license renewed because the tag agency here in OK wouldn’t accept the plastic card AK gave him as a replacement birth certificate. THey didn’t care that it was legal in AK, they would only accept the paper version, which AK wouldn’t give him.

  13. Andrew says

    There is NOTHING wrong with requiring people to show photo ID to vote so long as you enable people to easily get a photo ID. These laws are always quickly passed (and usually quickly struck down) right before the election and the purpose is to elect Republicans. The sponsors of the bill don’t even try to hide there intent.

    This isn’t about how much fraud there is now or who it benefits. Make a process for people to get IDs. Have an election requiring them but allow people to verify their identity a secondary way as a back-up then have an election with no secondary.

    Truthfully though it’s a waste of time. I’m for doing it right if we’re going to do it but there are SO MANY better things to spend our time on.

  14. ratbastard says

    @Derrick,

    You’re kidding, right? How the F does ANY responsible adult in the U.S. function without a proper ID? As for birth certificates, it’s a NOMINAL cost to get a copy, and in this day and age with the internet it’s never been an easier thing to do.

    ======================

    Horrors! They want potential voters to actually prove their identity! Absolutely shocking.

    Sh*t, you can’t even buy a beer or any tobacco product without a proper legally recognized ID. You can’t rent a car, rent a motel/hotel room, fly on a plane, etc., etc.,

  15. i could go on, but I won't says

    It seems like the Republicans just can’t catch a break, hahaha.

    And by Thursday morning I imagine many of them will have thrown in the towel. Romney is a disaster on wheels.

  16. Zlick says

    Well, the Republicans certainly threw in the towel on trying to register any more Republicans to vote in the 10 days left to them. That’s because, oh you guessed it, the only company they contracted with to do voter registration in all the swing states was just found to have committed concerted voter registration fraud, and they were quickly fired (almost as quickly as the Republicans asked the company to change its name before being hired this go ’round, because it was already known for registration fraud during the last election).

    Gotta love the irony. This is not voter fraud, but rather voter registration fraud (far more harmless). Otherwise, I’d almost suspect the Republicans set this up on purpose so they could create and then demonstrate the existence of voter fraud that the vote suppression laws are purportedly designed to address.

    Ha! BUT, this is precisely what the Republicans got all FREAKED about when Acorn was found to be doing the same thing in 2004. (The important difference being Acorn itself reported the discrepancies when they found them, and the current company in trouble, Strategic Alliance or something, was found out by the State of Florida. Ooops.) Hey Republicans, your hypocrisy is showing (for the zillionth time!)

  17. ***** says

    You’re kidding, right? How the F does ANY responsible adult in the U.S. function without a proper ID? As for birth certificates, it’s a NOMINAL cost to get a copy, and in this day and age with the internet it’s never been an easier thing to do.

    Rat, in obtaining the ability to vote, whether or not the cost is NOMINAL, is moot. If it cost .01 and if it could be considered a poll tax, it is, according to the Constitution of the United States, illegal.

  18. says

    Republicans discovered that calling something a poll tax is deeply unpopular, so they renamed it “Voter ID laws” and repackaged it in a way they thought could skirt laws banning poll taxes. Thankfully, the courts appear to be less obtuse and/or bought and paid for than the GOP first suspected — and the public is starting to catch on, too.

  19. says

    Republicans discovered that calling something a poll tax is deeply unpopular, so they renamed it “Voter ID laws” and repackaged it in a way they thought could skirt laws banning poll taxes. Thankfully, the courts appear to be less obtuse and/or bought and paid for than the GOP first suspected — and the public is starting to catch on, too.

  20. NwYrkr says

    ratbastard, nothing wrong with national ID’s, provided of course you don’t have any fears of Orwellian scenarios, however what is wrong, terribly wrong is to try and implement it 6 weeks before an elecyion effectively disenfranchising almost 1 million law abiding citizens who have a constitutional right to vote; and for appointed state officials to publicly declare that this will then swing the election to one candidate over another is a shocking abuse of power.
    If they wan to implement it now for the 2016 election okay, but not for 6 weeks from now.
    If disenfranchising poor, bus riding waitresses, hospital orderlies, factory and clerical workers etc. is the only way your boy Mitt can win and you are in favor of it then you and he are assholes.

  21. andrew says

    This republican attempt to suppress the democratic vote in Pa has failed for the time being. There was no need for the voter photo I.D. other than to try to get Pa Electoral votes for Romney. One of the Republican reps said as much in a public forum. Ask President Gore to what lengths republicans will go to capture the White House.

  22. Caliban says

    Years ago I lost everything I owned in a fire. Birth certificate, Social Security card, etc.

    I don’t know how anyone got the idea that it’s easy to replace all that ID. Especially if you don’t live in the same state where you were born. It was a bureaucratic nightmare. So don’t tell me how easy it is to get a state issued ID.

    If I’d had to take public transportation I’d probably still be waiting.

  23. ratbastard says

    I was born in another state than the one I live in and had zero problems getting a copy of my birth certificate. Getting a legal picture ID and drivers license, passport, etc. is NO PROBLEM, either. Getting a social security card either new or replaced is NO PROBLEM, either. I don’t know what people are talking about.

    You CAN NOT function in our society without proper ID. You need it for everything from getting on a plane, renting a car,renting furniture, renting a room, renting an apartment, buying a home, buying tobacco and alcohol products, opening an account at a financial institution, check cashing, etc., etc., BUT, it’s OK not to request a proper, legal ID in order to vote? That’s of course phuking absurd, and everybody in here knows it.

    As for it being a ‘poll tax’, that’s one mighty stretch.

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