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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/23/12

No sir, it's not about a Photo ID

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I lose patience in the argument over Voter ID. If it was only about requiring an ID to clamp down on non existent voter impersonation in Pennsylvania that would be one thing, however when you throw in Governor Corbett's comments in 2010 about keeping the vote down in Philadelphia, House Majority Leader Turzai's slip of the tongue when he stated Voter ID would ensure Romney's victory and now the Republican controlled state agencies making it harder for people to register to vote you can't help but be confronted by a stark reality; the party that claims to be about liberty is openly hostile to those who would vote against them.
If it was about a simple photo ID you would receive one when you registered to vote. If you are citizen enough to register, you are citizen enough to vote. It's quite simple to create a universal identification for voters that you receive when you register. But an ALEC modeled bill that restricts the type of ID to a specific form of ID that almost 10% of Commonwealth voters don't possess. And if Voter Impersonation was such a common occurrence before the bill, why was Governor Corbett so derelict in addressing it from 1995-1997 and 2005-2011 as Attorney General.
I seriously lose patience with the everyone has an ID argument, or it's not an undue burden to require an ID. Like I have previously stated, if it was only about an ID then maybe I could accept the previous arguments. However, if it was only about an ID why all the restrictions. Why perpetrate a fraud that maybe 1% won't have the ID that the bill requires. Yes people cash paychecks, buy cigarettes, show ID to go to work at some places, however you can have a photo ID that might be acceptable for those everyday transactions and still not be able to use that ID to vote.
If we have reached an era where photo ID should be necessary to vote then the same Government issued photo ID should be issued to every registered voter, hell you can add a picture to a voter registration card. Or even make it electronic. You know that American ingenuity you always hear Republicans talk about. Scan the registration card at the polls and poof a photo of the voter pops up on the screen. Simple and even creates jobs to implement.
I wonder if Americans today are so removed from their own history that they don't know how many Americans actually died in order for people not deemed worthy to vote by one group of Americans to access the polls. This summer I took a road trip of the American South and stood shivering in a quiet hotel room in Memphis overcome by the history I've studied, took a walk across an eerily quiet bridge over the Alabama River at Selma, then saw a marker outside Philadelphia, Mississippi recognizing the site where three young men, one who my father knew were murdered because they tried to register voters deemed not worthy to vote.
The Pennsylvania Voter ID bill, developed at secretive American Legislative Exchange Committee (ALEC) meetings and then sprung loose by Rep. Daryle Metcalfe, a man who lack of integrity and decency is quite evident by the ALEC bills and others he has sponsored during his taxpayer subsidized career assaulting everyday Pennsylvanians for the special interests is a rouse at best. It's the realization of a radical ideology that is unpopular and anchoring one of the two major US political parties so far to the right that with the ever changing demographics in this nation, Republicans can no longer just trust their message and must resort to old fashion political machine tactics to win.
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Rich Bergen is the managing editor and primary writer for ProgressMo Shuffle. Rich is a Center for Progressive Leadership 2012 Pennsylvania Political Leader Fellow, a Correction Officer, Union Steward, graduate from Concordia College-Bronxville with (more...)
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