.

GOP Caught in Own Trap

How does the GOP get away with circumventing their own law. The Democrats need to hold them accountable for the Voter Id debacle.

Pennsylvania election officials announced plans Friday to reduce the number of documents required to obtain a photo ID card that will allow voters to cast ballots in November.

(From Philly.com - Link)

On one level this is great news. "...citizens will not have to produce birth certificates and Social Security cards, as currently required, to prove their identities to PennDot personnel."

Let's make it easier to vote now!

On another level this is very disturbing news. The law, requested by Governor Corbett and delivered exactly the way he designed it from the GOP Legislature, is the law. The law REQUIRES citizens to produce the Social Security Card, plus a cross-referencing document for citizenship (birth certificate, naturalization papers, passport), plus documentation stating you live where you say you live (tax bills or utility bills, etc.).

Election officials do not have the right to change this law. This law needs to be repealed by the legislature or injunctions need to be issued by the courts.

Are we a country of laws or not? If the GOP is so concerned about having rules for everything and making all of us follow their rules, they cannot take exception to those of us who actually want them to follow the rules THEY have set up.

Anyone who is on those lists is defined as disenfranchised. Even if they can somehow get their vote back, the act of putting that voter's name on a list means the GOP Law actually targeted that person for removal. They are disenfranchised by law. The GOP has to follow the rules they put in place. Force them to follow the letter of their law.

The names of the hundreds of thousands of people they are disenfranchising need to be publicly disclosed. Imagine contacting them and asking each of these people if they would like to work the polls on Election Day?

Montgomery County has estimated 45,000 people may get bumped. There are about 400 polling places. If the Democratic Party had any sense (I know, it is a stretch) they would assign about 100 people per poll to start working these polls now. The disenfranchised could call each voter in each polling district with a script that says,

Hi, I am Joanne Anyone.
I used to be able to vote before your State Rep, Mike Vereb, voted to take my vote away from me.
I plan to be working at your poll, The Church on Sunnyside Avenue, on Election Day.
I am still totaling up how much it is costing me to get all my documentation in order to get my vote back.
So far I had to deal with Social Security Admin, the Hawaii Vital Records Department ($10 for a copy of my birth certificate), and PennDot.
I had to take a day off work and pay SEPTA to get to the PennDot office.
I think it may cost me about $200 in time and running around to get my "free" Voter Id Card to get my vote back.
By the way, did you have to pay anything to keep your vote?

Repeat this about 100 more times as each of the disenfranchised leaves their names on the phone machines. On Election Day those 100 people will stand outside the polls with shirts saying,

The GOP disenfranchised me and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt.

It will be a powerful gauntlet the still enfranchised voters will have to navigate as they will need to announce themselves for voting.

The proper rule at the polls is for the name of the voter to be announced as they approach the table for verification. Poll watchers are allowed to challenge the veracity of the voter presenting themselves.

Instead, the poll watcher can relay the name of the person voting to those outside so that person can be thanked for voting by name as they leave. "Thanks for voting Mr. Jones, I remember when I could vote".

Let's play by the rules set up by the GOP. The GOP may have just crushed themselves.

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Joe The Nerd Ferraro July 26, 2012 at 12:05 AM
what part of driving away people in the middle are you forgetting? you will never win the extremists - you have a shot at those 2 steps to the center of the extremist. Acting like it is war will turn them off.
freeandequalpa July 26, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Mike: "I don't really care where they try to contest it" So your previous argument that Petitioners are playing a "game" by not filing in federal court is withdrawn. Got it. "they don't stand a chance winning it once it goes to the state Supreme Court." You think that -- why? The PA Supreme Court has not ruled on this issue. And, the Court currently is split 3-3 Democrat/Republican. If it votes on a party line, it will affirm by default whatever the Commonwealth Court decides.
freeandequalpa July 26, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Mike: "Then I would ask them how far away the closest PENNDOT office was (Knowing the answer of course). The ask them how many times they TRIED to get there, and how many of there "court sponsors", neighbors, friends and family members offered to help." I went to the hearing today. The PETITIONERS' counsel asked those questions. Because the answers were: We have gone to PennDOT many times but repeatedly have been told that we cannot get an ID without a birth certificate. But we cannot obtain a birth certificate because the states in which we were born decades ago have no records of our birth. We have spent years (some 5 years, some 12 years, some 30 years) and hundreds of dollars attempting to get birth certificates, with no success. We even have gone to pro bono lawyers to help us, but even they have been unable to obtain the documents PennDOT requires to issue a "free" ID. All of this was in their petition, by the way: http://freeandequalpa.wordpress.com/summary-of-applewhite-petition/
Mike Shortall Sr July 26, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Well, now that the State has introduced the new Voter ID Lite card, I guess we can drop all the whining about spending 3 decades trying to get a birth certificate! Frankly, if Ms. Applewhite really spent 3 decades CONTINUOUSLY trying to obtain a birth certificate AND used all the resources at her disposal ... State Rep, State Senator, Congressional Rep, Senators Casey & Toomey, just to name a few ... I'll eat my keyboard. I don't believe it for a minute.
Mike Shortall Sr July 26, 2012 at 01:54 PM
And no, I do not withdraw my original comment on court challenges. If they thought they would win this as a "civil rights issue", they would have been in Federal Court in a New York minute! Just for the national media coverage alone ... No, they KNEW they had no chance at the Federal (i.e. eventual USSC) level, so they are trying their luck at the State level.

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