Pennsylvania Voter ID News

You’ll recall when Pennsylvania House Republican Leader Mike Turzai was filmed admitting that the voter ID law he ushered in for that state was designed to make sure Obama lost there to Mitt Romney (see below). Pennsylvania is sort of a swing state, but Obama winning there would not have shocked anyone even from the perspective of a few months ago before Romney started “running” for president (and by “running” I mean “stumbling”). Since then, all three states that have voter ID laws in place to bias the election towards Republican candidates have seen a backlash against this atrocious insult to our democracy, and as a result, Obama will win in all three of those states, and other Democrats will do well.

And now, this: Judge Puts Pennsylvania Voter ID Law On Hold Through Election. From NPR:

A judge is basically “postponing Pennsylvania’s tough new voter identification requirement, ordering that it not be enforced in the presidential election,” The Associated Press writes.

But in a ruling that’s rather difficult to follow if you’re not very familiar with the case, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson also says he “will not restrain election officials from asking for photo ID at the polls; rather, I will enjoin enforcement of those parts of Act 18 which directly result in disenfranchisement.”

I look forward to expert commentary that will help us all understand this.


  1. #1 Joel
    United Kingdom
    October 2, 2012

    So the state government can’t force registration officials to require photo ID, but that doesn’t stop tea partiers from stacking the positions and requiring some anyway? You know, for voters who look bl^H^H suspicious?

  2. #2 Thomas
    October 2, 2012

    I think you’re thinking of Mike Turzai (R), the House Majority Leader for PA. I’m not aware that Gov Corbett ever gave away the game the way Turzai did (“Voter I.D., which will allow Mitt Romney to win the state: Done.”)

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    October 2, 2012

    Thomas, you are right. Corrected, and video added.

    Joel: This will be interesting.

  4. #4 ToSeek
    October 2, 2012

    A lot more than three states have voter ID laws in place, and many of them are undoubtedly going Republican. Fortunately, the laws don’t seem to be swinging the election. Summary map at .

  5. #5 gwen
    October 2, 2012

    It appears the GOP are now ‘training’ people to go to the polls to challenge voters right to vote as they enter the polling places. My guess is that it will be targeted at obvious democratic voters. Another way to intimidate voters.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    October 2, 2012

    That’s what they do! I’m sure the Dems are countering. Such a waste of energy, though.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    October 2, 2012

    ToSeek: There are more than three, but those three are the recent implementations and the swing states overlapping. Also, there are laws in play. In Minnesota there is actually a constitutional amendment on the ballot this year. It is likely to pass.

    thanks for that link.

  8. #8 R.L. Schaefer
    October 2, 2012

    Show Identification – My God the Horror!

    I quite agree. What an assault on liberty and personal freedom.

    I often show mine when I use my credit card. What an invasion of my space, and an insult to my integrity.

    I had to show license to get a library card and a parking pass. I felt soooo violated.

    When I filled out a loan application they actually made a copy of it and attached it to my forms. The unmitigated gall!

    My son has to show his student I.D. when he goes to the movies. I think I’ll sue! Child abuse!

    My daughter is 30 and still has to show her I.D. when she buys a bottle of wine. Think of the pain this causes her.

    I had to show my I.D. when I cosigned for my son’s car. Rotten shylocks!

    I have to show my drivers license every time a get a new hunting or fishing license. My God! What about my rights!

    I even had to show my driver’s license when I cash a check at a store. Can you imagine the gall? Wanting to verify my identity.

    The animal shelter even wanted my driver’s license when we adopted a puppy. For heavens sake, is there no end to these intrusions into my privacy?

    And now, some right wing, Neanderthals want people to prove they are eligible to actually vote in elections affecting the future of America…. Have they no shame?

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    October 2, 2012

    It is not legal in this country to charge someone money to vote. Millions of Americans who are not in need of any change in their ID status will be forced to purchase ID’s for the explicit and sole purpose of voting.

    The voter ID laws do not have any measurable effect on voter fraud because there is virtually no voter fraud.

    The voter ID laws are being pushed by Republicans.

    The voter ID laws will mainly negatively affect Democratic voters and not Republican voters.

    You seem to be OK with this. Shame on you.

  10. #10 dean
    October 4, 2012

    The local repubs have had, for the last few elections, people posted on the grounds of our voting sites, “trying to ensure folks are in the correct location” to vote. If they stand far enough from the entrance they are legally allowed to be there. Usually I’ve seen them challenge older voters and minorities, but I have had them (twice) come to me as I was entering to ask. It’s “Just making sure your vote isn’t thrown out” as the start. Best response: “Are you associated with the folks working here? No. Then get the fuck away from me or I’ll call the police.” I doubt everyone says that.

    R.L., why is it that in so many cases the id that is required IS NOT one of the items the bulk of the population has? Note that in WI the governor required the cards to be distributed at DMV offices, but did not allow signs to be posted or employees to ask the public if they knew of the requirement or had the card: it was only mentioned if it was brought up.

    My mother never drove, and in the last years of her life was unable to get out of bed. She had no access to getting Michigan’s ID card (had to be done in person), but she still voted by absentee ballot. She would not have been able to under these laws. Hardly falls under the umbrella of the implications of your foolish comments.