Pennsylvania Will be the New Florida in Election Turmoil

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.

News & Notes July 31, 2012

Another month melts away as we race through 2012.  There are less than 100 days to the election and candidates are active sending solicitations for contributions before the final Labor Day push.

Mitt Romney continued his gaffe filled foreign tour underscoring his inability to understand diplomacy.  If President this guy could tick off more of the world than even GW Bush did.

The Supreme Court will hear the Prop 8 case on marriage equality.  A decision could make same sex marriage legal nationally.  That’s the only way we’ll ever see it here in Pennsyltucky.

Bucks Countians hung a large banner from I-95 telling Congressman Fitzpatrick to end tax cuts for the rich.

Questions arose in Commonwealth Court about the state’s readiness, and ability, to provide photo ID’s for voters.  What, just because neither the Governor nor his Secretary of State can answer basic questions about the law?  Why should we be surprised.  PennDOT wasn’t ready either.  This law has been a catastrophic example of election rigging.  If it throws Pennsylvania to Romney it could make him President by disenfranchising people from their fundamental right to vote.  By the way Sec. Aichele, one does NOT need an ID to ship a package via UPS.  That was one more lie she told at her press conference last week.

Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin faced a preliminary hearing while she continued saying the charges against her are a witch hunt.  Why then did two aides testify she ordered them to do political work on state time?  It’s exactly why her sister, former Sen. Jane Orie, is now in prison.

Cash grants to the poor were discontinued this week.  Republicans have now thrown 80,000 kids off Medicaid, 70,000 adults off Adult Basic, slashed food stamps, day care, services for the mentally and physically disabled and cut $2 billion from education.  Are these your priorities?  If not stop voting Republican.  Some folks are questioning whether Gov. Gasbag hates women.

Catholics won’t sell a 44 bedroom mansion it owns because the buyers are a gay couple who might allow same sex marriages on the property.  Someday the church might come out of the Dark Ages.  Don’t hold your breath waiting though.  The proceeds from any sale should go towards settling lawsuits by people molested by the Church and not for legal fees defending pedophile priests.

Democrats will include a marriage equality plank to their platform in Charlotte.  Bill Clinton is going to nominate Barack Obama.  I hope they have one of those orchestras which begins playing when someone goes over their time limit.

The Green Party of PA turned in their nominating petitions today, a day early, for their presidential ticket.  I signed the petition.  I think the state’s ballot access laws are terrible and anti-democratic.  Let’s hope Democrats don’t purge us of the opportunity to vote for real liberals come November.

Former CNN personality (it isn’t really a news network) TJ Holmes was stopped for driving while Black.  He Tweeted the entire experience.  In this age of instant communications you’d think cops would at least try to be a bit smarter.

It turns out Mitt Romney likes socialized medicine.

SCOTUS actually ruled a while back that lying is protected free speech.  It’s the only reason the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Faux News are on the air.  Not so in Canada however.  No license for Fox there.

kudos to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) for this session.  Why can’t we have a Senator like that?  (Because liberals stayed home and Joe Sestak lost so they could send President Obama a “message.)

Corbett Stipulation: No Cases of Voter Fraud

As protesters massed before a giant, inflatable liberty bell brought by Congressional candidate Gene Stilp, the Corbett Administration confessed in a court document that no cases of voter fraud exist in Pennsylvania.  The stipulation is part of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU of PA along with the NAACP and other parties.  It is a sworn court document.  It means they have no valid, reasonable legal defense for spending millions of tax dollars enacting a poll tax.

Sec. of State Carol Aichele, who infamously moved a polling place in Chester County so Black students at Lincoln University couldn’t vote, is enforcing this law.  Is Carol Aichele a racist?  That’s a question I wasn’t able to ask her yesterday after her press secretary cut off my line of questioning.  It is one she must answer however.  She is systematically disenfranchising thousands of African-Americans across the Commonwealth.

I challenged her talking point yesterday when she tried to explain away the lack of cases.  Her only response to me was to repeat her talking point.  She’s a liar.

When she used an anecdote about her time as Chester County Commissioner to relate an instance where someone attempted to impersonate a voter and was challenged by a poll worker I pointed out she had just proven the old system worked.  She didn’t like our exchange and was rescued before I completely eviscerated her before the state’s media.

Here’s an interview I did with Rev. David Bullock about Voter ID:

NAACP Calls VoterID Election Fraud

The NAACP held a two hour rally on the Capitol steps today (Tuesday) against VoterID.  The heat was oppressive but several hundred people braved the conditions to make their voices heard.  I finally gave up on getting pictures and video as people crowded the podium and blocked my access.  It was a good thing though as I needed to get inside and cool down, get something cold to drink and prepare for the Aichele press conference.  The video:

DOJ Investigating State Voter ID Law

Talking Points Memo is reporting the Justice Department is investigating the Corbett/Turzai VoterID law.  PennDot has been charging voters $10 for the ID which makes this a poll tax.  Other voters must pay for birth certificates and other documents in order to obtain a voter ID.  These indirect costs also make this law unconstitutional.  In fact if it even entails paying a bus fare to get to a motor vehicle photo office (and not every county even has one) it should be declared unconstitutional.  Having to pay a fee for the right to vote is Unamerican.

It’s easier to get a gun here than to vote.  Maybe if we all showed up at the polls with purple ink on our fingers they’ll let us vote.  We spent $3 trillion imposing democracy on Iraq and it’s easier to vote there than here.  Perhaps China can invade us and force democracy back on America.  Turnabout is fair play correct?

The Civil Rights Division wants state data on voters and ID’s to determine if the Mike Turzai law unlawfully targets minorities.  Sec. of State Carol Aichele could not cite a single instance of voter impersonation during hearings and also claimed it would only effect 1% of voters.  It turns out that 758,000 Pennsylvanians do not have a photo ID.  This is about 9% of the state.

A rally against Voter ID will be held tomorrow at 1PM on the Capitol steps.  Commonwealth Court begins hearings on a lawsuit challenging the validity of the law Wednesday.

PennDOT Forcing Voters to Pay For ID’s

How is this not a poll tax?  Republicans promised us their VoterID bill wasn’t a poll tax because they’d stick taxpayers with the cost of fixing a problem which doesn’t exist.  Someone must have forgotten to tell PennDOT.  They’re forcing people to pay for the ID’s required for voting.  Polling places all across Pennsylvania will begin asking voters for ID tomorrow.

Not only are PennDOT employees violating the law they are doing it rudely.  People shouldn’t have to take an advocate with them to force state employees to comply with the law.  How many eligible voters have been turned away or forced to pay for their right to vote?