Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A temporary loss for voter ID

A Pennsylvania judge has blocked a key part of the state's voter ID law until after the 2012 election, allowing voters to cast a ballot on Nov. 6 even if they don't have photo identification. The decision is a loss for Republicans in the state who saw the law helping Mitt Romney by disenfranchising black and elderly voters. But it's not quite a victory for Democrats. 

Judge Robert Simpson, who initially upheld the voter ID law earlier this year, changed his mind after being nudged last month by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reconsider. The justices weren't satisfied that the new law would provide alternative forms of identification to voters who didn't have an ID. Simpson agreed Tuesday, ruling that voters wouldn't have enough access to IDs by November. 

Simpson didn't invalidate the voter ID law, however, in fact allowing election workers to ask for an ID at voting sites. (Voters who don't have one will still be allowed to vote without having to cast a provisional ballot.) By not rejecting the law, Simpson is telling state officials that they need to come up with a way to get IDs in the hands of those who don't have them. That's essentially what federal and state judges have ruled in cases recently in Texas and Wisconsin.

As we said an editorial, the key is fairness. Lawmakers would have more credibility if their bills and laws addressed areas where fraud occurred more often, such as voter registration. But at the least, they should make sure legislation helps voters meet ID requirements by allowing alternative forms of identification such as utility bills and student IDs. If the idea is really to protect the vote, not exclude people from it, that's the appropriate route to take. 

Peter St. Onge

   

19 comments:

Wiley Coyote said...

The decision is a loss for Republicans in the state who saw the law helping Mitt Romney by disenfranchising black and elderly voters

No, it's a loss for America and the one person, one vote rule.

Voter fraud knows no party affiliation.

Way to keep your misdirection going Observer.

BiBr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BiBr said...

Showing a utility bill is not a good way to ensure voter integrity. After I moved out of my parent's home I kept receiving mail for several years - including mail that could be counted as "voter identification."

Jim said...

Well, I guess this will be cause for celebration in gatherings of the party where self-styled intellectuals and sophisticates have co-opted children, illiterates, mendicants and various single-issue "activists" into a [sometime] majority.

Wiley Coyote said...

Isn't it interesting that it's always Democrats and Blacks who are "disenfranchised"?

I think we should first pass laws to ensure all Democrats and Blacks have a Social Security Card and driver's license because they are surely being kept from getting both of those pieces of documentation.

Once they have those, then voter ID will fall into place.

Pete? Did you and your Observer cronies have to get an ID to eneter any DNC venue? If so, why?

Seamus S said...

"The decision is a loss for Republicans in the state who saw the law helping Mitt Romney by disenfranchising black and elderly voters."

This is blatant editorializing that isnt even backed up by the link as best I can tell.

Maybe it is a loss for law-abiding citizens who think it is not unreasonable to have some form of ID in order to vote.

The Observer Editorial Board said...

Seamus,

Editorializing is what we do. Link is fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.

Seamus S said...

Perhaps I should have been more specific that you are projecting you opinion onto the Republicans of PA. It makes more sense with the link fixed. Thanks.

Seamus S said...

Now that I read it again I think you have projected your opinion onto PA Republicans- nowhere in the article does it discuss race or age- the disenfranchisment you describe is one of your own creation, not one of PA Republicans.THat is, it is YOUR opinion that this will disenfranchise voters, and no one elses. THe way it is written muddles this point and I think is inportant to distinguish.

cmsparent2010 said...

Need to cash a check - Show ID
Need to buy a bottle of liquor - Show ID
Need to drive - Show ID
Need to get food stamps or medicaid - Show ID

I would like for ANYONE to tell me who does not have an ID - The voter ID law is for one thing only - To insure that people only voteonce as their true selves. Anyone who says otherwise is just wishing that the fraud can continue to boost their party's chance of election.

jay1937 said...

What a terrible article full of lies in innuendos. Typical for Observer writers to base an article on half truths as well as typical of a progressive/socialist judge to rule against what should be the law. I'm sure the Judge was a democrat as well as an Obama supporter. Really, who has a chance against all the lies and bias of the mainstream media?

bigdealsam63 said...

Another of those "middle of the road" opinion pieces that Pete promised when he was named to the editorial board. NOT. Sorry Peter, your politics are liberal, just as the others on the ed board. Why not just admit it?

bigdealsam63 said...

Another of those "middle of the road" opinion pieces that Pete promised when he was named to the editorial board. NOT. Sorry Peter, your politics are liberal, just as the others on the ed board. Why not just admit it?

Larry Comrades said...

After reading the spin the Observer put on this one, I wondered how we still have gravity on the planet.

Bruce Aiken said...

Peter,
You are the man!!! It really is to hard to get a ID. After all the poor and elderly ONLY have 4 years between national election to figure out how to get a ID. 4 years is not enough time to find a ride to the nearest government agency to get one.4 years is not enough time to SAVE the money needed to get one.

4 stinking years is just being unreasonable.

I-77 Sunset Strip said...

Next time -- and there will be a next time -- that the CO starts campaigning again to have judges appointed instead of elected, remember what is happening here. You need picture ID for cigarettes and beer, but not to vote. If judges in PA and WI (John Fund sources voter fraud in Milwaukee and Philadelphia) are found to be thwarting the People's will they can and will be voted out. Appointed judge are immune.

Peter St. Onge said...

Hi Sam,

I try not to get into a lot of what-am-I discussions, because I want this blog and mine to be about issues, not me. But I do think it's centrist to argue, as we did in our editorial I linked to, that it's understandable for people to want a voter ID law. A bi-partisan commission said they were a good idea in 2005. But, if we're going to have those laws, they should do their best to help people get IDs. That way, people aren't disenfranchised, and the integrity of voting is protected.

Thanks,

Peter

Larry Comrades said...

Yes helping people get id. In fact the government did so a few years ago when they started letting MatrĂ­cula Consular cards issued by the Mexican Government to be used in this country as ID.

But sadly an outcry from the people stopped that wonderful program which would have given id to so many illegals.

J said...

"The decision is a loss for Republicans in the state who saw the law helping Mitt Romney by disenfranchising black and elderly voters."

Nobody else has the onions to state it, but I do. So I will.

When talking heads scream that requiring voters to present a photo ID in order to vote is disenfranchising minorities and seniors, THEY ARE STATING THAT MINORITIES AND SENIORS ARE TOO LAZY AND/OR STUPID TO GET AN ID.

That is it. Nothing more. An ID card in NC costs $10.00, and is valid anywhere from 4 to 8 years. (I'm 42, got my newest card 2 years ago, and it expires when I'm 48.) One $10 card every 4 years is not a cost burden, I don't care what your financial situation is. You can't drive to the DMV? Someone will take you. Really, what is the percentage of people who have absolutely zero family members, friends or neighbors that could get them to the DMV? I doubt it's any more than one-one hundredth of a percent (that would be about 32,000 in the whole country; I think that's about right). Whatever the percentage might be, all that has to be done is to inform both parties that there are people in their area that have no ID and absolutely no human contact that can get them to the DMV. Both parties will break necks trying to get them an ID, hoping they will become lifelong voters of the party that got them their ID so they could vote.

Last night, while watching the news, we saw the story about the PA ruling and my wife asks, "what's wrong with requiring an ID to vote?" I said nothing, but there's this tired old argument that requiring an ID is an attempt to keep minorities and seniors from voting. Her response? "So they think minorities without an ID just won't get them? As a black woman, I find that as an insult to my intelligence." Exactly.

I don't understand why, when minorities and seniors are insulted in this way, they attack the voter ID proponents instead of attacking the people that are insulting them.