'Voting Rights Act' Violation - Pennsylvania's New Voter ID Law

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The Department of Justice is investigating another state over controversial Voter Suppression ID laws that will end up kicking millions of Democratic voters off the rolls. This time it’s Pennsylvania, with the DOJ launching a formal investigation into whether the state’s new Voter Suppression ID law discriminates against minorities.

The DOJ has already filed suit against Texas and South Carolina over their respective Voter Suppression ID laws – but the investigation into Pennsylvania marks the first time the DOJ has targeted a state not covered under the Civil Rights Act, which protects minorities living in states with a history of racial discrimination. The state’s Voter Suppression ID law is also being challenged within Pennsylvania, as a number of plaintiffs led by 93-year-old Viviette Applewhite, who will be unable to obtain the necessary identification to vote, are suing the state to have the law repealed.

Pennsylvania is the perfect example of why these Voter Suppression ID laws are not about curbing voter fraud, which virtually doesn’t exist, but actually about helping Republicans win in November. As Pennsylvania’s Republican Speaker of the House, Mike Turzai, told a group of fellow Republicans in June, “Voter ID…is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

Thom Hartmann Administrator's picture
Thom Hartmann A...
Dec. 29, 2009 9:59 am


Volunteers are canvassing voting blocks affected by the PA voter suppression law. A lot of people think they are OK, because they have a photo ID, but don't know it must also have an expiration date. That's why veterans are also being denied the right to vote [they HAVE been claiming veteran's benefits, can't have THAT].

Moral dilemma time: As a canvasser I come to a disenfranchised citizen, yet they are registered R. After checking their ID and finding it deficient, do I say it's OK or not? They may not find out until they are denied their right on election day, just like FL in 2000. 1st instinct is educate them [believe it or not, some republicans can learn], 2nd thought hmmmm, help your party's candidate, 3rd thought, trust your instinct, when that citizen discovers they've been betrayed, they are alienated for life toward the ones who betrayed them. To play that game is to sink to the slime your opponents slither with. Extending a hand to an opponent feels good, and remember Hurricane Katrina, We are better than that.

douglaslee's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Are we conflating voter ID laws, which the USSC appears to have upheld, with caging, which to the best of my knowledge is still illegal? How does a law requiring voters to show ID lead to "kicking voters off the rolls?"

Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote chilidog:

Are we conflating voter ID laws, which the USSC appears to have upheld, with caging, which to the best of my knowledge is still illegal? How does a law requiring voters to show ID lead to "kicking voters off the rolls?"

There have been reports from several of the states that have implemented ALEC's Paul Weyrich inspired and Koch brothers financed voter ID laws which outline how tough some of these states have made it to get the proper ID to vote. The government offices where people without a driver's license can get the required photo ID for voting often are few and far between, and the office hours are short, bankers-hours you might say, weekdays only, some by appointment only. People who work 9 to 5 weekdays have to take time off from work to get there, without pay, or they have to use paid leave. If you do not have a car, you need a ride or have to rely on some form of public transportation, if it is available, which costs even more money. Also, charging people a fee for this service amounts to a "poll tax", and is a violation of the Voting Rights Act.

During the primaries, many long time voters have been denied the right to vote or have been given some sort of provisional ballot, which is basically not counted in most cases unless there is a virtual tie and some sort of recount takes place. Seniors and others that do not have drivers licenses but have several other forms of identification in hand have been denied the right to cast a regular vote, a right which they have enjoyed for all of their adult lives.

Far more innocent people are being hurt by these voter ID laws than ever committed the "voter fraud" the laws allegedly are meant to stop. The only "fraud" going on here is the voter ID laws themselves.

Jul. 7, 2011 11:13 am

A state judge has nevertheless rejected a challenge to the law brought by the Pennsylvania ACLU and others. Officials are now seeking to delay until mid-October an appeal of the case to the state supreme court. How transparent can you get?


Jul. 7, 2011 11:13 am

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