Today Could Be a Big Day For Voters in Pennsylvania

Commonwealth court judge Robert Simpson will hear arguments on the state’s controversial Voter Suppression ID law – and there’s a solid chance he could issue an injunction and prevent the law from taking effect before November’s election. On Tuesday – Judge Simpson suggested that he will likely put the law on hold since state officials have yet to prove that the law will not harm eligible voters.

Roughly half of the city of Philadelphia stands to be kicked off the voting rolls come November because they lack the proper identification. Pennsylvania is a battleground state – and earlier this year – Republican State House leader – Mike Turzai – bragged that this Voter Suppression ID Law passed under his watch would “allow Governor Romney to win the state.” But it looks like the courts may throw a wrench in Turzai’s plans.

But make no mistake about it – Republicans will continue to kick as many Democratic voters off the rolls as they can before November. In fact, Florida Governor Rick Scott has restarted his illegal voter purge – targeting those who don’t have white Anglo-Saxon names.

All of this should wake us up to the fact that all Americans desperately need a federal right to vote.


ken ware's picture
ken ware 3 years 8 weeks ago

A judge that actually is non political and thinks about the rights of citizens in our country. Miracles will never end ! Maybe there is actually a chance democracy will survive in America...

Wendalore's picture
Wendalore 3 years 8 weeks ago

I'm woefully ignorant about this. I keep hearing the basics over and over, but haven't stopped to find out more. All the towns I've lived in have had a big voter list of people that are registered to vote, by street. When you come in, you tell them who you are and after you vote, same. They cross you off the list. But you don't have to show any ID. But still, that entity called by my name at my address, only gets to vote once.

It doesn't seem unreasonable to ask people for an ID, though. I'm open to hear more.


HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 3 years 8 weeks ago

I HAVE a right to vote by birth; the problem is proving it. We have no uniform nationwide voting standards. I couldn't "prove" citizenship at this moment -- likely not within a month of gathering documents. Been there done that, for a friend.

A State License to Drive (or utility bill ???) proves nothing, other than a right to operate a motor vehicle -- NOT Citizenship. That said, Voting Rights may be mostly up to states, subject to greater constitutional considerations -- it's a mess.

BEWARE Conservatives, be careful what you wish for -- Do we really want another Universal Federal Database? SS#s tatooed on our arms? That's the only way to track Voter Registrations in our very mobile population.

This like most, is NOT a trivial "Them-Us" issue, except for small minds.

PhoobarID's picture
PhoobarID 3 years 8 weeks ago

Having an African-American last name...I registered yesterday after 30+ years of non-voting as a member of the Bend Over Party to make sure that Idaho doesn't lose my registration or will keep me from voting if I registered as anything other as BOP.

Being a lifelong can rest assured that anyone who is a fundamentalist leaning Tea Partier or right-wing follower will not be getting my vote. I see anything crazy on the ballot from them...they will be getting my Progressive stamp of approval as well.

PhoobarID's picture
PhoobarID 3 years 8 weeks ago

It doesn't seem unreasonable to ask people for an ID...

You're doesn't sound unreasonable. In actual want to force someone to have an ID to vote...the government needs to go to every household in that state with a camera/ID printer and give everyone voting age an ID on the spot for free. Doing what Texas is doing is stupid when people would need to travel dozens or hundreds of miles to PAY for an ID to vote. The government can find money to pay corporations bribes to move into their communities...but then finds it impossible to find everyone in every community and give them a free ID on the spot in order to vote. Anything less than this is a Poll Tax and those have been illegal since the mid-60's.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 3 years 8 weeks ago

That is a great idea. Problem with that idea is it would cost so damn much, most states would not be able to afford the cost. Here in California I show up at the polling place noted on my booklet (is sent to my address) that explains the issues and my name and address is on the roll call. Since you have to register before you vote this works out fine for me. I am not sure whether I had to show an I.D. when I registered, but I think not since I registered by mail! It appears the people complaining the most are the Republicans because they need a sure way to stop the Dem.s from voting this election. Does not say much for their confidence in Romney!


ken ware's picture
ken ware 3 years 8 weeks ago

When I mention Thom's name in response, I guess I should be addressing it to Louise?

nigle77's picture
nigle77 3 years 8 weeks ago

I live in Arkansas, and in Arkansas it is a Red States all the way

1) if you have a jobs in Arkansas, they will come up to you and tell you if you want more hour ?

if you says yes, then tehey will tell you who to VOTE for that is the Truth

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 3 years 8 weeks ago

The Twain Report

All The News That Mark Twain Says He Would Report If He Was Alive Today


In a break from their usual lame-stream liberal media approach, today The View television show allowed renouned nuclear waste expert Ann Coulter, whose recent discovery of a new form of deadly nuclear radiation known as republiconium-666 rocked the scientific community and rocketed her to international fame.

Ms. Coulter brought to The View a long-overdue grace, compassion, wisdom, and total authority over everything and everyone.

But Woopie Goldberg selfishly refused to allow Ms. Coulter to offer expert commentary on race relations, thus depriving Whoopie and other black people of all knowledge of what it is like to be black in America today.

We can only hope that black people who want to know what it is like to be black in America today, will read Ann Coulter's books and watch her fox news commentaries.

Idaglia's picture
Idaglia 3 years 8 weeks ago

RELAX GRINGO, I'm here legally!

Really, now, I've no objection to Voter ID cards. I'd prefer that the action is attached to the life of my 'pictured' state driver's license or state ID. And, that this requirement should have occurred at the start of a new polical administrative period rather than mid-stream into a presidential term where it was quite obivious that the fascist right was bent on making this presidency fail.

The problem and strife that occurred as a slap in the face was the ugly openness with which the action was started shortly after Arizona's sheriff, Arpaio, and governor couldn't contain themselves and went ballistically fascist (keep in mind the word 'fascism' includes the 'r' word) on all of us that are not of anglo-saxon origin. And, then the congressional republicans in unison joined the fray. Poor, poor, folk . . . they are having terrible growing pains . . . they've become the Ugly Americans . . . so-o-o-o UnAmerican . . . sad.

So, I decided this year at Virginia's primaries to test the opposition that was going to ask me to show my voter registration card along with the state's pictured driver's (DL) / ID card. I wanted to test the powers that be regarding what gives the 'volunteer staff' the empowerment to make such a judgement on us citizens. So, here's how it went . . .

I walked up to the registry tables and the first woman asked to see both my voter registration and state issued pictured DL / ID card. I said, "Before I do such, I'd like to see your state issued pictured DL / ID card as well as the Commonwealth of Virginia's legal document that gives you the authority to review my 'private personal information' that is protected by the U.S. government's Privacy Act.

Poor lady was going to pee her pants. She call over the volunteer staff manager who then called the security guard to deal with this. I requested the same from him, he stalls, and suggests to them they should be prepared to show such legal tender as well when asked. Since, they could not provide a notorized doc with the state's seal, I was allowed to go through and vote without showing my cards and only pointing to my name on their ledger roster.

On my way out, the security guard followed me out the door and asked if what I had said was for real. I looked at him, and said, "You're black, wouldn't you have tried the same thing just to see them squirm? . . . Remember, the Native American's were here when we all arrived to this country, make sure you're looking over the staffs' shoulders so that they are demanding equal requirements from our anglo-saxon citizens . . . and, remember your dad and my mom who had to pay a poll tax to vote . . . the white man didn't?"

pattreid's picture
pattreid 3 years 8 weeks ago

I keep hoping that the SCOTUS will step in on this. The right to vote in a Federal election should not be overridden by the states. It's insane.

pattreid's picture
pattreid 3 years 8 weeks ago

Wendalore, you need to get informed about this sooner rather than later. If you are someone who follows Thom's ideals, you may find yourself the target of a challenge of your right to vote. They are targeting people who traditionally vote Dem, i.e. people of color, seniors, youth, any ethnicity. There are many sites that offer you a way to determine if you are able to vote, I list just one of them:

Tom Dovenspike's picture
Tom Dovenspike 3 years 8 weeks ago

IF there were rampant cases of voter fraud (which there certainly do not appear to be), I could see the validity of efforts to correct this. However, the timing of this so close to the election, the fact that the efforts are preponderantly in states controlled by Republicans, the fact that all these new laws were drafted using the same language developed by ALEC, the fact that the EFFECT of the laws will be to disenfranchise racial minorities and the elderly, and the fact that some legislators have even come out to say that the passing of those laws will help ensure the Republican chances of winning this election clearly point out the strictly politically motivated purpose of these efforts.

Like it or not, Racism is still alive and well in the good old U.S. of A. The Republicans have clearly recognized that their chances of winning elections now and in the future is greatly diminished by the changing demographics of our country. White evangelicals, Joe lunchbuckets, and gun-totin' rednecks are no longer the majority in this country.

YES, there should be a federal law clearly defining voting registration and balloting procedures throughout the country. Voting is among the most precious of rights enjoyed by ALL citizens. Regulations should be such to ENCOURAGE MORE participation in elections, not less. It's what democracy is all about. It's what a lot of us put our lives on the line for fighting in wars(some more justified than others) throughout the country's history. This strategy seems rooted in the same old State's Rights bullshit used to justify resistance to civil rights, voting rights, and a lot of other things. Ever wonder whatever happened to all those "Southern Democrats"? Seems all those state have magically turned Republican since the 60's. Hmmmm.

If we really need such legislation, why not do so in such fashion to ensure that people are NOT disenfranchised(perhaps 'grandfathered" in some way), and that sufficient time is allowed, and standard procedures put in place to guarantee consistent, fair implementation.

Why the Kochs Really Embraced Criminal Justice Reform...

It looks like the Koch brothers have scammed us once again.

When news first came out that Charles and David Koch -- the Koch brothers -- were supporting criminal justice reform efforts in Congress, many of us thought, "Wow, they're actually doing something good for once."

And for good reason, too.

Latest Headlines

Obama to veto legislation on refugee screening

President Barack Obama would veto a Republican bill introduced in the wake of the Paris attacks to toughen the screening process for Syrian refugees

New York officials: No credible ISIS threat against city

There is no credible threat to New York City at this time, officials said

China denies torturing political prisoners

A Chinese delegation denied mistreatement of prisoners held in police stations and deaths in custody
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"In an age rife with media-inspired confusion and political cowardice, we yearn for a decent, caring, deeply human soul whose grasp of the problems confronting us provides a light by which we can make our way through the quagmire of lies, distortions, pandering, and hollow self-puffery that strips the American Dream of its promise. How lucky we are, then, to have access to the wit, wisdom, and willingness of Thom Hartmann, who shares with us here that very light, grown out of his own life experience."
Mike Farrell, actor, political activist, and author of Just Call Me Mike and Of Mule and Man
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."