Friday, August 17, 2012

Voter Disenfranchisement in Pennsylvania

From the Field Negro:

The first story is just about your basic racist idiot (and I'll agree with anyone who thinks it's uncool to make fun of the guy for being fat, jerkwad or not), but the second one is a great example of how Pennsylvania's new voter ID law will disenfranchise honest people. People who are poor, transient, or of color are more likely to have document issues than people who are well off, at a stable address, and white. Being old, born at a time when documentation wasn't as formal or vital as it is now, is an additional problem. In this case, Ms. Applewhite has been working on replacing her ID after it was stolen, but she's over 90 and getting everything together is tough. She's probably not going to be able to vote in November.

If the Pennsylvania Republican leaders had any brains at all, they'd be swarming around Ms. Applewhite, pushing through her document requests, making absolutely sure she gets new picture ID and a new social security card, and that her voter registration is up to date well before the election. If they want to go on pretending that Pennsylvania's new law is really all about preventing voter fraud (despite the fact that the government can't produce any evidence of significant voter fraud there) then they should make sure people like Ms. Applewhite are accommodated with all speed.

Oh, and for anyone who still thinks the voter ID thing is all about fraud, read this.

Mike Turzai, the Pennsylvania GOP House majority leader, said that a strict new voter ID law will help Republicans win the state for the first time since 1988.

"Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation -- abortion facility regulations -- in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done," he said to applause at a Republican State Committee this weekend, according to

The comment contradicted the usual Republican line that voter ID laws are for guarding against voter fraud -- which is extremely rare if not nonexistent in practice -- and not to help elect Republicans.

That's why they're doing it. Solving an incredibly rare problem with voter fraud is just smoke and mirrors.



Caryn Caldwell said...

Wow. That's really scary.

Angie said...

Caryn -- isn't it? [sigh] It's a new chapter in an old story, though. I posted in 2008 about how the Republicans were engaged in voter caging. It's the same thing, trying to prevent people who'd likely vote for your opponent from voting at all. :/


Charles Gramlich said...

This is part of what happened in Ohio too, with the lawsuit there. An attempt to change the laws to help Republicans win office.

Angie said...

Charles -- right, true. [nod]

It sounds to me like the Republicans are sure they can't get into office honestly, and that these shenanigans are their only chance. I wish they'd just accept the un-messed-with will of the voters, the way the founding fathers they claim to respect intended (within the limitations of the Electoral College, blah-blah) and work on finding someone better to run on their ticket next time.

Angie, waiting for the smart, non-crazy Republicans to take their party back