Voter ID laws sound pretty reasonable on their face: stop people from voting illegally. I agree with this noble motive. But I disagree with the effects of these laws. It looks like the Department of Justice may feel the same way, as they announced that they areinvestigating Pennsylvania’s restrictive Voter ID law.
Here’s the problem: According to the law, every PA voter needs a valid state-issued ID, or a college ID with an expiration day (few have these), or passports. Basically, it’s pretty strict. Not very many people have one of these. In fact, the ACLU estimates 11% of PA voters won’t meet the requirement. Other studies estimate around 9%. Governor Corbett said 1% (but presented zero evidence).
My grandmother cannot vote at the polls this time around. No photo ID. She can’t drive and to wait in line for a photo ID would be prohibitive because of her health. She can, however, walk in and out of a voting booth. Not this time. Thankfully, she qualifies for an absentee ballot (but is upset she can’t vote the way she has for 60 years).
What about city-dwellers who don’t need a driver’s license? Or college kids? Or the elderly? Minorities? These groups are overwhelmingly Democratic and are intentionally being targeted by Republicans for disenfranchisement so that Mitt Romney and GOP candidates can win elections. Sounds far-fetched? The head of the GOP in the State House admitted it.
Add to that the fact that there is zero in-person voter fraud, and you graduate from conspiracy theory to straight up plot against the people. Actually, the State admitted there is no in-person voter fraud… as in there was no legitimate reason to pass this law.
This law goes to court this week. And if the court upholds it (and hopefully justice prevails and it won’t), then the DoJ will likely get involved and protect us from the Republican who are trying to protect us from our right to vote.