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Some PA Legislators Sing the Voter ID Blues

Dem candidate Larry Maggi said he is worried poll workers won't let him vote because his name isn't Larry Maggi - it's Lawrence Owen Maggi, and someone may say it does not “substantially conform” to the name he uses in public life and on most documents.


Earlier today, Larry Maggi’s campaign began a “Let Larry Vote” petition drive in support of a court injunction delaying implementation of the voter ID law.

The campaign accompanied the beginning of the petition drive with the launch of, which allows supporters to donate to his campaign as well as sign the petition.

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Democratic legislators statewide have cried foul over Pennsylvania’s new Voter ID law, saying it’s a blatant attempt by Republicans to disenfranchise the Dems’ voting base. But it’s unlikely that they themselves expected to be a part of the disenfranchised group. Until now, that is.

Last week, the Tribune-Review reported that House Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) may not have a valid ID because of a discrepancy between his driver’s license and birth certificate.

In Dermody’s case, his birth certificate lists his name as Francis J. Dermody, while his driver’s license said Frank J. Dermody – the name Dermody officially uses.

Needless to say, he is isn’t pleased with the new identification measures and what it may mean for him.

“This certainly isn’t ready to be implemented in November,” Dermody said after becoming one of 760,000 Pennsylvanians to receive letters from Commonwealth Secretary Carol Aichele informing them of their lack of valid ID.

“This is a joke. They should have saved the postage.”

But Dermody wasn’t the only Pittsburgh-area politician facing new hassles at the voting booth. Larry Maggi, a Washington county commissioner who’s challenging Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny) in PA-18, faces a nearly identical quandary to Dermody.

On his driver’s license, Maggi’s name is listed as Lawrence Owen Maggi while his voter registration card has it listed as Larry Maggi. In a press release from his campaign, Maggi said the name on the form of ID must “substantially conform” to the voter registration listing.

Because courts haven’t defined “substantially conform,” Maggi said an election judge must determine whether he’s a valid voter despite the fact that the Department of State verified him as eligible to run for office.

“As a Marine, I served our country to protect freedom and democracy for every American.  The most basic freedom in a democracy is the right to vote,” Maggi said.

“Now, I am not even certain my vote will count this November. The state is not ready to implement this law if over 700,000 people do not have the proper ID to be eligible to vote—including veterans and lifelong residents.”

Susan Mosychuk, Murphy’s Chief of Staff, said in an email that Murphy vowed to communicate criteria of the voter ID law with his constituents.

“Congressman Murphy is well-known for his constituent service, and like he does with all issues, he’ll be working to ensure his constituents understand how this state law impacts them and what they need to do to comply with the new requirements,” Mosychuk said.

18 Responses

  1. I love the way you socialists call every one else a nazi. You seem to have forgotton your own history: Nationalsozialismus or the national socialists turned Germany around. They had to kill Jews, Gypsies, dissidents and others there and across Europe and steal their money, but they supported the same kind of central goverment control as you. Try as you might to limit debate by screaming racism; people by a wide margin support voter ID. Hey Goebbels it’s not just about one vote. It’s about the integrity of all our votes.

  2. I was really surprised that Mr. Cawley, in a Deposition, stated that, “the right to vote is not a fundamental one”, to which Mr. Walczak countered, “the right to vote is not only fundamental, it’s foundational”.

    I also question why this Act did not promulgate Rules and Regulations. I guess that those who were pushing for this Act wanted to expedite the enactment and enforcement of this Act, and did not want to be encumbered with something so trivial as Rules and Regulations, like other Acts. Had this Act required Rules and Regulations, this process would be going on now, rather than litigation to block it’s enactment.

    I could not believe that Mr. Cawley said that, ‘the burden to obtain (or secure) adequate (appropriate/required) ID is, in numbers, insignificant, therefore the Law should stand.’ As far as Mr. Cawley is concerned, he really does not care if a few hundred thousand, or so, will not be able to vote. And,throughout the trial, the Commonwealth was unable to produce any definitive numbers, one way or the other, as to how many voters would be negatively impacted by this Act.

    As far as I’m concerned, this litigation is not about the million, or half-million, or hundreds of thousands of voters who will be disenfranchised, but rather this litigation is about the ONE voter, who will be disenfranchised by governmental interference, in not being able to exercise their Constitutional Right to Vote!

    Voting is a Right, a fundamental Right, which should not be abridged by either bureaucracy or legislative process.

    If the Commonwealth wanted to implement a requirement to produce photo ID to vote, so be it, but it should have been phased in over a two or three general election cycle, thus affording everyone the opportunity to secure the required ID.

    In The Myth of Voter Fraud [], Lorraine C. Minnite presents the results of her meticulous search for evidence of voter fraud. She concludes that while voting irregularities produced by the fragmented and complex nature of the electoral process in the United States are common, incidents of deliberate voter fraud are actually quite rare. … Minnite contends that voter fraud is in reality a politically constructed myth intended to further complicate the voting process and reduce voter turnout.

    And, yes, I attended the Hearings(s)every day.

  3. The next step in identification is the blue number inked on the arm. It is a useful permanent marker in case people need to process a bigger crowd.

  4. My greatest concern is where things go from here. If we now must present a particular government ID — beyond a valid voter registration card — to a government agent in order to vote, what other freedoms and rights will be subjected to the same requirements? Will we need a different government ID to speak at town meetings? To read things from the public library? To enter public buildings? To petition our government for redress of grievance? To go to church? Someone can invent a bogus security reason for each of these limitations. And the government could decide that each right has to have its own ID.

  5. Frank- What crap, you are expelling….

    Most people don’t need ID for any of those things.

    Beer, cigarettes? Only if you look under 21. But, you can use an out-of-state ID.

    There are thousands of people WITH JOBS who don’t have the restricted types of ID for this law. For example, people in the city that take public transportation and don’t drive.

    Over-the-counter drugs? All I’ve ever needed was my insurance card. The elderly just use their Medicare card.

  6. There are some OFFENSIVE angry people who want voter ID. Would everyone pleasre grow up and act like respectful adults even if we all have divergent political views.

  7. Sorry, what I meant to write was

    Now, the rich and powerful are singing the blues. I am a transsexual woman who had her name changed last year, and my DL reflects that. However, because I wouldn’t “look” feminine enough for my name and gender marker (it’s listed as female on my DL but male on my birth certificate), they might try to accuse me of having a fake ID. Not only that, I never got around to changing my name on my birth certificate (and I can’t change the gender marker until I have certain surgeries). So if the pollworker wants some form of secondary ID to prove who I am, I am screwed

  8. Now, the rich and powerful are singing the blues. I am a transsexual woman who had her name changed last year, and my DL reflects that. However, because I wouldn’t “look” feminine enough for my name and gender marker (it’s listed as female on my DL but male on my birth certificate). Not only that, I never got around to changing my name on my birth certificate. So if the pollworker wants some form of secondary ID, I am screwed.

  9. I object to pretending that silly people bemoaning other people following the rules is a cause to uphold the voting ID law when the facts we are discussing are now on the court record as an attempt to change the rules for bogus reasons have logic on their side. There is, as the State admitted, no reason for this type of legislation based on reality.
    To ask citizens of this commonwealth to jump through hoops constructed by their elected officials to represent their party’s needs to win elections by disenfranchising voters is an outrage. It goes against the very concept of government of, for and by the people. The politicians passing this law ought to be thrown from office for violating their oath to serve the Constitution. They serve nothing but their pretentious posturing and pretense at being public defenders of the freedoms we have to go about our lives without being unduly assaulted by our government’s policies and procedures.

    To muddy the waters and support those efforts is an attempt by con artists pretending to prove they aren’t bigots and frauds pretending a reason to steal rights from others. Those bigoted against their fellow citizen’s living orderly lives who through no fault of their own – find themselves suddenly confronting new laws and faulty recordkeeping constructed by people living in an Alice in Wonderland reality ought to seriously consider their reason for pretending social superiority when in fact they are fearful of not going along with despotism.

  10. They may be old and they may have a hard time getting up when they fall down but the greatest generation is a fighting generation and they will fight again to preserve their right to vote from the modern fascists. They grew up hearing the propaganda of Goebbels so they won’t be fooled by the propaganda of the new fascists.

  11. Even the GOP admits there is not a single verifiable case of in-person voter fraud (what this law was allegedly designed to prevent), and there is not a single case of an “illegal” (anyone who uses that term for a human being is a bigot). And purchasing beer and cigarettes are not constitutional rights, however, voting is. So, stop drinking the kool-aid and start learning the actual facts. Instead of relying upon talking heads to tell you their talking points, do some research for yourself.

  12. This is packed with half truths. Whether his birth certificate matches his license is immaterial. Further, if the photo and the address are a match and the name that close no Board of Elections would deny his vote. What a red herring ! The letter from the Commonwealth indicated the state did not have a DL number or an SS number on record. It does not know if he or those 760,000 have id or not. Rep. Dermody is being disingenuous and deliberatelty trying to scare (older)voters who will not likely have any problems. Shame! There must be a lot of illegals voting in Philly. Francis, this ID thing must seem so inconvenient when your minions are trying to drag rumheads, crazies and dead people into the polls to vote for Democrats.

  13. This voter suppression tactic is aimed at seniors … the greatest generation who sacrificed their youth to fight facism. And this voter suppression tactic smacks of facism, so once again, the greatest generation is forced to sacrifice their golden years to fight facism.

  14. Frank, No one died to do anything on your list! None of those things are the cornerstone of our democracy! If voter fraud was an issue, I’d be with you. But it’s not. It’s a solution without a problem. And an expensive one at that.

  15. When Democrats express concerns about regulations that may keep hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians from voting:

    “If you can’t follow the rules, it’s your own fault.”

    When Democrats enact regulations attempting to tame environmentally and/or economically destructive business practices:

    “Tyranny! Stop taking my liberty!”

  16. What crap! You have to show an ID for just about everything- blood work, employment, cigarettes, beer, over- the counter drugs- this should of been done years ago. Stop all the BS get the proper ID you need now and shut-up and vote. If you can’t follow the rules it’s your own fault.

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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