2012 Election | News | Pennsylvania

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.

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  1. YAY!!!

    Posted by: Charles | Oct 2, 2012 1:27:17 PM

  2. 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.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 2, 2012 1:33:13 PM

  3. So @Ratbastard. I suppose you're going to post a copy of your photo id online so we can see that you have yours.

    Posted by: William | Oct 2, 2012 1:38:44 PM

  4. 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."

    Posted by: Tom | Oct 2, 2012 1:49:42 PM

  5. @William,

    WTF are you babbling about? It makes no sense.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 2, 2012 1:53:19 PM

  6. @Tom,

    I'll be Devil's Advocate and suggest what he meant was it would cut down on VOTER FRAUD *gasp*

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 2, 2012 1:54:04 PM

  7. "...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.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 2, 2012 1:54:14 PM

  8. Voting is the most basic and fundamental of civil rights. Making it a country club people have to apply for is ridiculous, and an idea that only appeals to fascists.

    Posted by: LetSodomRing | Oct 2, 2012 1:57:16 PM

  9. Because as we all know, Bastard, voting fraud is such a HUGE issue. I mean, just over a hundred out of millions? It's an epidemic!

    Posted by: LiamB | Oct 2, 2012 1:59:16 PM

  10. 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.

    Posted by: Tom | Oct 2, 2012 2:00:30 PM

  11. @ratbastard, you mean the voter fraud that the state of Pennsylvania could not identify a single case of . . . ? Yeah, thought so.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 2, 2012 2:02:30 PM

  12. 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.

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER I | Oct 2, 2012 2:17:52 PM

  13. 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.

    Posted by: Chuck | Oct 2, 2012 2:47:53 PM

  14. @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.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | Oct 2, 2012 3:03:24 PM

  15. 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......

    Posted by: Chuck | Oct 2, 2012 3:09:58 PM

  16. "Everyone knows the real agenda of the ID laws is voter suppression."


    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.

    Posted by: Caliban | Oct 2, 2012 3:11:57 PM

  17. FINALLY someone stands up against this right wing corruption !

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


    Posted by: Icebloo | Oct 2, 2012 3:55:17 PM

  18. 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?

    Posted by: PDX Guy | Oct 2, 2012 3:57:07 PM

  19. 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.

    Posted by: LiamB | Oct 2, 2012 3:58:24 PM

  20. 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.

    Posted by: Andrew | Oct 2, 2012 4:05:37 PM

  21. @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.,

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 2, 2012 4:05:38 PM

  22. 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.

    Posted by: i could go on, but I won't | Oct 2, 2012 5:54:32 PM

  23. 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!)

    Posted by: Zlick | Oct 2, 2012 8:11:12 PM

  24. 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.

    Posted by: ***** | Oct 2, 2012 9:04:11 PM

  25. 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.

    Posted by: Ryan | Oct 2, 2012 9:59:31 PM

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