Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Put On Hold, But Damage Done
A Pennsylvania judge put on hold a controversial law that would have required voters to present a photo id to vote saying that there hadn't been enough time for many of those who need an id to get one.
Supporters of the law say it is needed to prevent voter fraud. Critics of the law claim that it is all about suppressing the vote of the minority, poor, and elderly who generally vote Democrat.
If you have any doubt that these laws are more about politics than election integrity just watch this video of Republican Pennsylvania lawmaker Mike Turzai stating that the law ""is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania""
When asked about allegations of the law being politically motivated, backers consistently claim that such laws are very much needed to prevent voter fraud. In reality, actual voter fraud cases are extremely rare numbering in the single digits even in large states like Texas and even during presidential election years when voter turnout is greatest.
The state of Pennsylvania has even stated that there has never been a case of "in-person" voter fraud in their state. When voter fraud does occur it generally involves absentee voting. Laws requiring photo id do not address concerns over absentee voting, only in-person voting. Statistics show that over 700,000 Pennsylvania voters do not have a driver's license and therefore, probably don't have a photo id.
Still, opponents of the Pennsylvania law say that the damage is done. Voters have been told that they will need a photo id and this will keep some of them away on election day even though it is no longer true.
Likewise, in Texas, the effort to purge voter rolls of the deceased has led to thousands of people, alive and well, getting notices from the state of Texas that they were dead and they had 30 days to prove otherwise before being removed from the voter rolls. In Harris County alone the County Clerk's office had hundreds of calls from people who received such letters saying that they were not dead but very much alive.
In spite of a lawsuit that resulted in a judge ordering the purge of dead voters to not take place before the election, many are concerned that the word will not get out that the live voters are good to go for election day causing many to just stay home rather than deal with some resulting hassle at polling places.
With a "win at any cost" attitude, some politicians have given our democracy a black eye. Let's hope this presidential election is not a repeat of 2000 when we all learned what butterfly ballots, hanging chads, and scrubbing of voting rolls were which all led to an election decided by the Supreme Court.