Remember the debacle in Florida in 2000? Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris became the poster person for election fraud as she stole the election for George W. Bush. Jeb Bush, as Governor, had disenfranchised tens of thousands of Blacks for having the same surnames as convicted felons. Then the battles of hanging chads, uncounted votes and other controversies were settled by the Supreme Court.
The national election hung on the outcome of the Florida controversy and this year Pennsylvania could be the center of controversy and scrutiny due to our Voter ID law. As of yet no one really knows how many eligible voters will be turned away at the polls because they can’t produce an acceptable photo ID. This includes 25% of those in the Pennsylvania Voters Hall of Fame, those who have voted in every election for fifty years. It also includes legislators and one Congressional candidate.
Voter ID mostly disenfranchises minorities and the elderly. Poor people who live in urban areas have no reason for photo ID’s. The very poor don;t use banks, don’t drive and don’t have ID’s. The elderly in nursing homes have mostly given up driving privileges and have trouble even getting to a drivers license center where they’re likely to be charged $13.50 by PennDOT for an ID which is supposed to be free.
Nine counties don’t have any photo centers at all, others perhaps one. This makes it hard for those needing the ID’s to get there. Once they do they’re often being turned away for having proper documentation. VoterID could cause a million eligible voters to be turned away. How many civil rights lawsuits will be filed on November 7th? If you turned me away from exercising my constitutional right I’d have a civil rights lawyer suing your ass.
Stupid people are being quoted as saying you need an ID for everything these days: flying (reality check, poor people don’t fly), banking (poor people don’t have bank accounts), sending something via UPS (a lie Carol Aichele) or any other number of examples. The fact is voting is a basic constitutional right and none of these other examples equate with that status. Millions of people exist and conduct their lives without ID’s. Requiring one for voting comprises election fraud.
Commonwealth Court will release its decision in a lawsuit filed by the PA NAACP and ACLU-PA this Friday. It will be appealed to the state Supreme Court by the losing party. If it is not nullified or repealed before November Pennsylvania is likely to become the focus of a nation on November 7th.
Provisional ballots will be offered to voters turned away but these folks will have but ten days to produce an acceptable ID or their ballot will be disallowed. Absentee ballots are not covered, in most part, by the new law. Laws covering the use of absentee ballots require their use only if you cannot physically get to the polls or will be out your voting area the entire day. Expect Republicans to enforce these provisions to prevent many voters from trying to get around the VoterID law via absentee ballots.
Republican voters tend to use absentee ballots far more than Democratic voters. If that changes this year that would be a VoterID indication. Thousands of provisional and absentee ballots waiting to be counted might mean Pennsylvania will not be decided on election day. Court battles over those ballots will be Florida 2000 revisited. Secretary of State Carol Aichele will be the new Katherine Harris and our state will be the focus and laughingstock of the nation.