Wednesday, December 14, 2011

PA Dems on Voter ID

arrived yesterday from our friends at the PA Democratic Party:

Yesterday, the Senate State Governmental Committee passed a bill by a 6-5 vote that requires voters to show photo identification every time they vote, sending it to the Appropriations Committee. This Voter ID bill is costly - estimates of the unamended bill have indicated it could cost the state $11 million dollars. With the economy and state budget suffering, this bill does not address jobs while only hurting our state's budget. The bill also threatens to disenfranchise Pennsylvania voters due to these burdensome requirements. Meanwhile, even supporters of the bill struggle to find examples of voter fraud in Pennsylvania to justify this bill.

"The voter ID bill is a costly, disenfranchising solution to a problem that does not exist," said Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesperson Lindsay Fritchman. "The policy would result in the disenfranchisement of many Pennsylvanians - notably, this burden will hit hardest the elderly, youth, and minorities, groups that historically tend to vote Democratic. It looks like once again, Republicans are focusing their efforts in the legislature on helping Republicans win elections rather than bringing jobs back to Pennsylvania, all at the cost of $11 million to the taxpayer." 

The real reason for pushing the voter-ID plan in Pa. (Daylin Leach, Philadelphia Inquirer Op-Ed) In other words, to solve a problem that does not exist in our state, we are going to disenfranchise about 700,000 Pennsylvania voters. These voters - poor people, African Americans, and students - tend to disproportionately vote Democratic. Thus, voter-ID legislation appears to be yet another cynical effort to rig future elections by people who have no respect for the democratic process and whose only concern is winning. It is ironic that this effort is occurring in the state where representative democracy was born.

Voter ID Bill Presses On (WPXI) A bill that would require Pennsylvania voters to show identification before casting a ballot is running into some resistance from state Democrats. "It's clear to us that the passage of this bill will significantly affect the turnout of African Americans, senior citizens, young adults and the disabled, " said Tim Stevens Chairman of the Black Political Empowerment Project.

 Amended state voter ID bill moves forward (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) Opponents argue that requiring a photo identification card would disenfranchise those without such cards, pointing to statistics showing senior citizens, minorities and low-income residents disproportionately lack ID cards... Four Democrats and one Republican, Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre, voted against the proposal, with several saying they are disinclined to change voting rules without first finding evidence of issues with the current system. "I wasn't going to vote to put a roadblock before voters without any credible evidence of a problem," Mr. Corman said. "If someone can show me some evidence, I'm happy to consider it." Mr. McIlhinney said he has yet to see specific evidence of voter fraud incidents at the polls, but called the potential photo requirement a "security check."

Voter Mandates Costly to Taxpayer (Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center) A survey of state implementation reports and estimates from legislative fiscal notes provides an indication of the likely cost to Pennsylvania of a state voter ID program. In order to meet the requirements set forth in the legislation and avoid potential litigation, PBPC estimates first-year costs for a voter identification program of approximately $11 million.

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