Voter ID Not Required For May Primary

PA-VoterID-300x260 (1)Lawyers involved in the pending Voter ID lawsuit decided Thursday that Pa. voters will not need to show ID as a condition for voting in the May primary on the grounds that the court has not yet ruled on the measure.

The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of requiring already registered voters to provide a government issued photo ID to election officials prior to voting.

The May primary will therefore follow the model of the November election.  Local election officials may ask voters to show ID but cannot prohibit them from voting if they decline to show documentation.

The constitutionality of the law is expected to be decided in a state Commonwealth Court trial scheduled to begin on July 15th.

The voter ID requirement has had a turbulent year since it was first signed by Governor Corbett last March.  It was suspended by Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson twice via injunction due to the question of “liberal access.”

Voter rights activists have said that the measure would disenfranchise groups of voters such as the sick or elderly.  Voter ID advocates have promoted the measure as in the public’s best interest to prevent occurrences of voter fraud, the prevalence of which has been debated.

15 Responses

  1. LycoGirl, actually you are wrong about being able to use a gun permit (by which you must mean a PA License to Carry Firearm). Although it is called a PA License and is recognized throughout the state, it is issued by a county’s sheriff, and so it is not a state-issued ID. That said, I’m sure there are plenty of Judges of Election who will accept a PA LCF since they’ve received nothing explicit (although I have, from the Sec’ty of State’s office, since I asked) that says it is invalid.

  2. Bob-
    1) There are not hundreds of thousands of cases of fraud.

    2) Most problems used to claim voter fraud are obvious clerical errors like:
    a) poll worker hands voter the slip for their spouse (sometimes deceased but still on the books)
    b) Machine operator sends one or two voters to wrong booth (R vs D) during a primary.

    3) First time voters have always had to show ID, but county issued voter ID card, or utility bill with matching name/address were sufficient. No one forges a fake PECO bill under a false name/address so they can vote.

  3. It is difficult to think there isn’t voter fraud in Philadelphia. Is it the Democratic position that ther is no reason to think there is voter fraud in Philadelphia or any other Democratically controlled city?

  4. Jack, you are completely wrong about people “without proper ID” being dead or moved.

    There were actually TWO lists from PennDOT, totaling about 1.6 million voters.

    One list was people not found on the PennDOT license list. The Second list was those people FOUND in the PennDOT system, BUT whose licenses had expired.

    Of these voters,
    397,438 from the first group of “not found” in PennDot voted in Nov 2012.

    Of these, 225,892 were Democrats, and only
    146,880 were Republicans, with the rest third party.

    Of the second group of “expired licenses”, 317,921 people voted in Nov 2012.

    In this second group, only 55,000 were Republicans and 239,000 were Democrats, and the rest third party.

    The hundreds of thousands of voters without PennDOT IDs were disproportionately Democrats (as the ID law was designed to target). There are certainly NOT hundreds of thousands of voter fraud cases in the state (or the country) to justify the suppression of all these voters.

    The rationale, of course, has been to deny votes to Democrats, (who possess plenty of other forms of ID, but tend not to have drivers licenses if they live in the city and don’t have cars, or if they are elderly).

  5. May I point out that less than expert Sec of State Carole Aichele has bungled the implementation of Voter ID? Carole Aichele lost a Republican ChesCo Senate District to very liberal Andy Dinniman in May 2007. This district had been Republican since the Civil War. Husband of the failed Carole Aichele is now Tom Corbett’s chief of Staff. Stephen Aichele had been chair of SaulEwing and been bond counsel. Val DiGiorgio is lawyer with a political law firm. One might conclude that Carole Aichele is where she is because of who she knows not what she knows.

    Tom Corbett and Republicans have accomplished little. It is not surprising to see Corbett’s numbers tanking.

  6. Basile, most of those 758,939 without a proper photo ID are dead or no longer live in PA. The real number of actual residents of PA who are registered to vote but do not have ID is much lower (no one knows for sure what that number is, but all evidence is pointing to a low number).

  7. Adsadfs

    My point about the supreme court id was made by judge McCaffrey, and was not refuted. The state’s voter suppression team had no counter to that argument, and I suspect that it was key in demonstrating the selectivity of ID choices.

  8. @David, you’re flat out wrong. Here’s what would be acceptable voter ID: Since a Supreme Court ID would be considered issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, yes it would qualify. It also allows such forms of ID as nursing home and college ID cards. It’s not just drivers licenses that are accepted. In fact, you really don’t need an ID at all as long as you fill out the required affirmation with the county board of elections.

    @Basile, it’s cute that you cite Ed Schultz as the basis for your post. Was that included in the latest thread on Journolist?

  9. David you are right on again:

    Most of those 758,939 without photo IDs tend to be poor, minority, young and elderly voters — core constituencies of the Democratic Party.

    That’s an incredible 9.2 percent of Pennsylvania’s 8.2 million voters. In a close national race, that difference could easily tip the presidency to Mitt Romney!

    Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has rebuffed calls to delay voter ID implementation, but did agree to spend a whopping $249,660 to educate voters about it (that’s a lousy 33-cents for every registered voter who does not have PennDOT-issued ID).

    And guess who that got that contract?

    It went to none other than Bravo Group, a company run by Chris Bravacos, a former executive director of the state’s Republican party and a fundraiser for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney

  10. You do not need id to buy cough medicine, especially a government issued id. You don’t need id to buy liquor if you look over 25.

    The voter suppression law would not permit the PA supreme court justices to use their supreme court IDs to vote (even though they were govt issued).

    The law was specifically constructed to exclude valid forms of id that are used by people who don’t drive (so wouldn’t have driver’s license).

    Old people. Poor people. People in Philly who use public transportation.

    In other words, people who were more than twice as likely to be democrats.

    The excluded forms of IDs, even included voter registration cards issued by the counties.

  11. Wait… you need to show ID to buy cough medicine. What about “liberal access” to cough medicine, or cigarettes, or alcohol? Ah, I guess it really is more important to make sure we uphold restrictions on cough medicine than on voting.

Comments are closed.

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