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 letlarryvote.com, 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.