House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) suggested that the House’s end game in passing the Voter ID law was to benefit the GOP politically.This is the law that 93-year-old Viviette Applewhite, appearing in the video above, is suing over with the help of the ACLU. The Pennsylvania law requires voters provide voter identification at the polls, and restricts acceptable identification to "U.S. military IDs; employee photo IDs issued by federal or Pennsylvania state, county or municipal governments; photo ID cards issued by a Pennsylvania care facility; photo IDs issued by the U.S. Federal Government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or photo ID cards from an accredited Pennsylvania public or private institution of higher learning."
“We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we’ve talked about for years,” said Turzai in a speech to [Republican State Committee] members Saturday. He mentioned the law among a laundry list of accomplishments made by the GOP-run legislature.
“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
Mrs. Applewhite, along with tens of thousands of college students, and numerous others who've changed their names because of marriage or divorce, don't drive, don't work for local, state or the federal government and don't have those IDs. Here's the rub with the law: While all those forms of ID are supposed to be acceptable, the law also stipulates that the required ID has an expiration date. Student ID cards don't have an expiration date.
That's also the wrinkle in the law Pennsylvania Secretary of State Carol Aichele came up against when she was trying to convince the editorial board of the Erie Times-News that the law was a good idea. She showed her state photo ID, demonstrating to them that it was just one of many of the acceptable forms of identification. Which it actually is not under the law, because it doesn't have an expiration date. Oops.
The only thing that matters with the law, at least to the Republicans who passed it, is not who doesn't get to vote. It's that only the right people get to vote—the people who will deliver Pennsylvania for Mitt Romney.