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That's an ad produced for Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's administration, trying to make the new voter ID laws seem like the last step in the long march toward universal enfranchisement in the United States. It probably won't suprise you to know who created the ad.
Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's administration has signed a $249,660 contract with a company run by Mitt Romney fundraiser, former state GOP party executive director, pharmaceutical lobbyist, and school voucher advocate Chris Bravacos to direct a media campaign promoting the state's Voter ID law.

Yes, that very same law, requiring that voters present identification at the polls, which critics contend will suppress Democratic-leaning non-white, poor, elderly and youth voters and which House Majority Leader Mike Turzai recently boasted (video) is “gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

It's also the law that, if it stands, will disenfranchise more than three quarters of a million Pennsylvania voters if it passes muster in the courts this month. That's one out of eleven Pennsylvanians, and in the city of Philadelphia, that’s closer to one in five. But, that's if the law stands.

It's currently being challenged, and the Christian Science Monitor has an excellent story on 93-year old Viviette Applewhite—the "Rosa Parks of voter ID"—who along with the ACLU is leading that challenge.

What makes the Pennsylvania case special is that it relies on a volume of voter qualification evidence not present in the definitive 2008 Supreme Court ruling that upheld Indiana’s strict voter ID photo requirements by a 6-3 vote.

In the Indiana case, Justice John Paul Stevens, a traditional defender of civil rights, sided with the Supreme Court’s conservative majority because he found no evidence that Indiana’s photo-ID requirement imposed “excessively burdensome requirements.”

The carefully prepared Pennsylvania case suffers no such evidentiary lack. It has a series of plaintiffs, led by Viviette Applewhite, a 93-year-old black woman, who worked as a welder in World War II and later marched with Martin Luther King, Jr.

The difficulties, delays, and expenses that Ms. Applewhite and the other parties to her suit have experienced are documented in the lengthy brief submitted to the court. [...] Applewhite, who lacks a driver’s license but has consistently voted since the 1960s, has, for example, made three tries to get her birth certificate from Pennsylvania’s Division of Public Records. At the time the suit bearing her name was filed, she still did not have her birth certificate, despite paying the required fee.

This case could very well end up going to the Supreme Court, and could very well end up being the key to stopping the flood of latter-day poll taxes Republicans across the country are enforcing.

If you haven't yet thanked Mrs. Applewhite for taking such a brave stand against voter suppression, please sign on.

For more of this week's news, make the jump below the fold.

In other news:

  • This story from the AFL-CIO about a voter registration drive in Arizona is really inspiring:
    Going door to door in a Phoenix neighborhood to register voters, Mari Yepez, a canvasser with UNITEHERE!, met a man who told her he didn’t believe in voting. Yepez, a student at Arizona State University who has worked with the union to mobilize residents around such issues as the state’s harsh immigration law and the struggle to find good jobs, shared with him how she had come to realize the importance of voting.

    “We as a community have to come together to make this happen,” Yepez told him. “Imagine what we could do if we all joined together.”

    The man ultimately not only registered to vote but was enthusiastic about going to the polls in November.

    If Mari Yepez can do it, in Arizona, you can too. Call your local Democratic Party and find out about registration drives in your area.
  • The NAACP didn't just get talked at by Mitt Romney this week. They strategized and organized.
    This year’s convention theme “NAACP: Your Power, Your Decision – Vote” focused on the importance and voter participation and the impact of voting on all aspects of our lives, including economic policy, health care, education and more. [...]

    The NAACP has already implemented efforts to mobilize Black voters – from supporting the Voter Empowerment Act, which focuses on guaranteeing early voting, allowing same-day registration, outlawing “voter caging,” counting provisional ballots, and penalizing voter intimidation – to activating its Election Day Command Center on Nov. 4. [...]

    Many NAACP units will also provide rides to the polls for those who do not have transportation.  This is My Vote, the only non-partisan 50-state electoral program in the country, will conduct a Get Out  The Vote (GOTV) campaign near Election Day.  The campaign will use door-to-door canvassing, registration booths at public events and work with churches throughout the state to help attract and turn out new voters.

    You could call your local NAACP chapter, too, to volunteer to help them out, if you were so inclined.
  • An infuriating story out of Florida from Think Progress. Sabu Williams, president of the Okaloosa County NAACP, celebrated the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday by registering voters. In doing so, he ended up violating the new voter restrictive voter registration law. They were charged with being an hour late in getting the forms in. That's part of the infuriating thing, but not all. Read what the county election supervisor told him in a letter:
    “We appreciate you going out and registering voters,” the letter read. “However, you were late for two of those and if you’re late anymore we’re going to turn this over to the Florida Department of Justice for prosecution.”
    A judge has since blocked this part of the law from being enforced. But it's not at all hard to fathom, from Mr. Williams' experience, what Florida is trying to achieve.
  • Despite a Tennessee program, by the state, to provide photo IDs to would-be voters who do not have them, the program has reached just a fraction of the population it was particularly created for: seniors.
    A unique Tennessee law allows residents over 60 to get driver's licenses without a picture. According to state records, more than 230,000 Tennessee seniors have such licenses—126,000 of whom are registered to vote —meaning they wouldn't be able to vote with those IDs. [...]

    But a Facing South public information request to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security revealed that only a fraction of the voters who likely need photo ID cards to vote are getting them.

    In an email to Facing South, Jennifer Donnals of the department stated, "As of Monday, July 9 our department had issued 20,923 state IDs for voting purposes to citizens in Tennessee."

    That figure would only cover 17 percent of Tennessee seniors who are registered to vote but who, according to state records, lack photos on their driver's licenses, potentially leaving as many as 100,000 citizens aged 60 and up without the needed identification to vote.

    There's likely as many as 300,000 eligible Tennessee voters who still lack the required ID. It might not make a difference in the presidential election, since Tennessee isn't likely to be a swing state, but it could very much affect state and local, and potentially federal, races.
  • Last week, the Justice Department blocked South Carolina from enforcing its new voter suppression laws. The state's governor, Nikki Haley, is undeterred, saying that the state will most certainly win the ensuing court challenge and will implement the discriminatory law. The problem?
    The problem—well, one of the problems—is that the decision isn't expected until September. For those mindful of the calendar, this means South Carolina, if it wins in court, intends to put a new, dubious voting law into effect less than two months before Election Day.

    Will there be time to educate voters about the strict requirements? No. Will there be time to train staffers at individual precincts? No. Will there be time to clarify logistical questions? No. But Haley doesn't care. She wants her law, gosh darn it, and she wants it now.

  • Michigan Gov. Mitch Snyder might have done the right thing this time around by vetoing the voter suppression law passed by his state's legislature, but that doesn't mean he won't sign a future bill.
    Spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said Snyder does not believe the bills are voter suppression efforts as critics have charged. [...]

    Wurfel said Snyder spelled out the changes he wanted to see in his veto messages, though he did not address the photo identification requirement in HB 5061, which drew the most fire from critics.

    “The governor is not opposed to the photo ID requirement, which has been a part of Michigan law for some time,” she said.

  • A long and thoughtful article at RH Reality Check details what is particularly at stake for a big segment of the population targeted by voter suppression: women.
    The latest available figures show that only 48 percent of voting-age women with ready access to their U.S. birth certificates have a birth certificate with their current legal name. The same survey showed that only 66 percent of voting-age women with ready access to any proof of citizenship have a document with their current legal name.

    Ultimately, these measures make the voting process more confusing and place additional burdens on groups who each had to struggle to obtain the right to vote and the right to access quality & affordable reproductive health care.

  • And here's another exhaustive article on the scope of problems the nation faces in having a free and fair election in 2012. It's a sobering, but important read. Here's a snippet.
    This fall’s potential problems begin with a new generation of voter suppression laws and aging voting machines in a handful of presidential battleground states. And other important factors are in play, such as election officials curtailing voting options due to fiscal constraints, the increasing age of poll workers—volunteers averaging in their 70s—who must referee an ever more complex process, and the likelihood that close races will end up in post-Election Day legal fights.
  • Forewarned is forearmed. Right? While all these stories are discouraging, be heartened by the amount of attention they are getting. It means we're at least getting educated and getting prepared. But as long as I'm encouraging you to volunteer, why not be a poll worker this election?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Pennsylvania.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's possible Corbett's vote suppression efforts (16+ / 0-)

    could break the long time Pa. two-term tradition. If he also opposes increasingly popular ACA implementation, resentment on vote suppression efforts and harm to Pennsylvanians by Corbett's policies overall (including trying to reverse Rendell early education improvement) could make the governorship up for grabs. Overall, 2014 will be higthly significant for governor elections, Ohio, Pa., Michigan, Wisc., Florida, Maine, etc. Will Democrats be less awful in voter turnout in a non presidential year?

    This year in pa. Democrats taking the presidential race, senate, and especially AG would be a big boost for the party. And I don't know that, even if the vote supprssion law stands, it would be fatal. Efforts to get ids for as many as possible would be pushed, and resentment at GOP tactics couls increase voter participation.

    •  The Smoking Gun in PA (12+ / 0-)

      Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

      by JML9999 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:29:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When we take the House back, and keep the (5+ / 0-)

      Senate, which I predict we will, ironically thanks in part to the voter suppression laws, we should haul a bu ... a big load of Republican state legislators to Washington to testify under oath "WTF were they thinking?"
      Just for a couple of weeks in order to put the final nail in the coffin on voter suppression (and ALEC, as well).

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:34:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes and what people in PA around here are talking (8+ / 0-)

      about this week is that Corbett started investigating Sandusky in 2009 and had plenty of dirt on the guy but kept it quiet and moved slowly and sat on a lot of stuff.

      He had dirt on Sandusky long enough ago to have him arrested before he took office in January 2011.  It took 3 long years to arrest him and in the meantime, Sandusky may have molested more kids.

      The Talk here about Corbett is that he waited it out until he was Governor and let another AG finish up the case and do the arrest because Corbett did not want to lose the contributions of key Penn State officials, Penn State alums, and other Republicans at or connected to Penn State.

      Plus Corbett wants to cut kindergarten, head start, fire more teachers, privatize state universities and more.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:16:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Republicans already want him out (0+ / 0-)

      Granted it's the "nuts" that are always posting on internet news site message boards, but it's a start.

    •  I vote in Philadelphia PA. (0+ / 0-)

      I have voted at the same little VFW post for ten years now.  You cannot vote the first time without a card that shows you are properly registered.  

      After that I have to sign a voter's book.  They get to look at ten years of signatures.  My neighbors are poll watchers.  We still have the old fashioned voting machines. There is no way to cheat.

      We do not need Corbett's law and it will disenfranchise a lot of my neighbors.

      I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

      by CherryTheTart on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:21:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I "love" how desperately they're trying to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, skohayes, Candide08, Eric Nelson

    legitimize this  on shows like Matthews and Shultz

    The Smerk filling in for Matthews is really riled, he's apparently from PA and the region hardest hit by this law.....

    The GOP thrust being
    "I don't understand why you think it's so bad that we check ......"

    "Don't you think we should check the identity of every voter....."

    Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

    by JML9999 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:14:52 AM PDT

    •  It is obviously illegitimate... (5+ / 0-)

      to "fight" a problem that does not exist.

      If the GOP has to resort to tactics like keeping masses of people from voting - that alone is equivalent to them admitting that their policies and message have lost.

      "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

      by Candide08 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:05:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes Smerconish wants to know why it took 3 years (5+ / 0-)

      to slap the handcuffs on Sandusky and he believes that Corbett stalled and sat on the investigation to get the endorsement and money from key Penn State officials and Republican Penn State alums.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:17:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  pardon the repost (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, PAbluestater, Eric Nelson

      I am a Pennsylvania voter.
      There is an aspect of this situation that I think is being overlooked by opponents of the voter disenfranchisement.

      And I think it is a key to demonstrating the unfairness of the law's implementation and getting it modified sensibly or overturned.

      Understandably, you are focusing on the additional obstacles (A poll tax in disquise) being placed on a few populations of voters at the edges  (the poor and aged, mostly) who already face disproportionate burdens reaching the polls.

      But what I don't hear discussed is the unfairness that is going to happen AT the polling places.  Certain people in certain districts are going to vote without presenting i.d. AND UNLESS YOU DO SOMETHING, NOBODY IS GOING TO SAY 'BOO' ABOUT IT.

      I happen to live in a lean Republican district.  The Republican primary for our State and U.S. rep races usually ends up being the de facto election.  For this reason I sometimes (including this year) register (temporarily) to vote on that Republican primary ballot.

      When I went to vote Republican,  I was not asked to present ID of any kind.  My wife, on the other hand, who is Democrat and not white was asked for i.d. and had it scrutinized by 3 poll officials before being allowed to vote.  The first poll worker said he wasn't sure the photo was her. (Maybe he just thinks all Dems look alike, or maybe, just maybe the intervening few years, hair style change and the effects of her battle with cancer confused him)

      The point is, I've never witnessed such two-tiered treatment INSIDE the polling place.  I had no experience with voter fraud under the previous system.  Yet, here, the very first time i try and use the new system i had direct experience of unequal treatment.

      Certain people in certain districts think this law is beneath them.  That it is intended to disrupt someone else, somewhere else.  

      Your probably thinking, 'yes, but those people will have i.d.'.  Yes. Most of them will.  But some of them, some of the same people scoffing at the idea that securing i.d. is a burden, will show up without i.d. in November and expect to be allowed to vote.  "But its MEEEE!" a few will even exclaim.  As much as this goes against my civic spirit, i think observers should be out in force there (in the polling places in the  tonier parts of town) to make sure those presumptuous people (and unfortunately also their neighbors) get their fair share of the nuisance, the delays and the indignities.  

      I'd like to think the Pennsylvania poll workers will follow through with this loathsome duty (necessitous by a loathsome law), but experience tells me there better be someone watching the watchers.

      10000 disenfranchised 'others' will not bother Turzai a bit.  But get a hadful of his own screaming bloody murder and the tipping point is nearer.

      •  What? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TofG, Eric Nelson

        You mean in your state you are required to tell the poll workers how you're going to vote before you vote?

        If not, why would possibly register as a Democrat?  Just don't register with either party and vote the way you want to vote.  Screw the poll workers.

        Plus, don't you as a voter have the right to ask why someone is not being asked for ID?

        If I was in a polling place and someone asked for my ID and let the Republican in front of me go without showing ID, I'd create a fuss.

        •  In Pennsylvania (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TofG, PAbluestater

          To vote for candidate in the primary, you have to be a registered voter affiliated with that candidate's party.

          If you want to participate in, say, the democratic party primary.  You will have had to register as a Dem affiliated vote (i believe) 30 days before primary day.  'Non-affiliated' voters (my natural state) have no roll in the primary election unless there happens to be a referendum or some such on the ballot

      •  there will be more Repub Voter suppression (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JML9999, Eric Nelson

        thanks to Corbett and his "friends" like his Sec of State Carol Aichele - who was well known as a Republican loyalist who as a County Commissioner did lots of dirty tricks to suppress Dem votes - like last minute changes to poll workers and polling locations - causing long waiting lines to vote, caused absentee ballot processing problems.

        She is the Ken Blackwell of PA - and will do any Corruption to get Repugs elected.

        It is a little scary in PA right now thanks to Corrupt Corbett and his Repug buddies.
         

  •  A lousy 3/4 of a million PA voters? (8+ / 0-)

    How about the 1.5 million in Texas?  http://www.dailykos.com/...

    The Justice Department said in court that about 1.5 million registered Texas voters don't have state-issued photo IDs, and that a disproportionate share of those voters are Hispanic or black. But Texas attorneys noted that the Justice Department didn't take into account whether those voters might have passports or citizenship papers, which are also acceptable ID.
    http://www.npr.org/...

    It all needs to be fought, everywhere this BS is going on.  Maybe the Texas case will help stifle some of this.  But the stakes are, frankly, higher int he Lone Star State.  And yes, we are still part of this country, all 24 million of us.  1/8, 12% of the U.S. population.  I think that matters, too.

    Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:15:17 AM PDT

  •  Trouble is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CuriousBoston, marina, PAbluestater

    all the corporate employees at the Supreme Court and elsewhere in the judiciary have to do is nothing.

    If they make no decisions, issue no stays, take no actions, then the Voter ID laws will be enforced, people will be disenfranchised, Corporate employees will be elected, and our democracy will be lost.

    Good bye America.

    Hello Kochlandia.

    In Washington, whenever anyone does something wrong, everyone else gets punished.

    by Noziglia on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:16:41 AM PDT

  •  This is a BIG deal (9+ / 0-)

    Thank you for posting this diary.  Out of all the diaries posted on DKOS I would rank those dealing with these voter ID laws as number one.  "Ballot security" programs are an old stand-by of the GOP to drive down votes for their opponents.

    "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

    by FDRDemocrat on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:18:04 AM PDT

  •  If you are an American citizen, (0+ / 0-)

    and you are not allowed to vote:

    You should sit in at the polls.   If enough polls are shut down by people who are disenfranchised, this third-world attempt to steal elections will be stopped.

    If I don't have the right to vote, you don't have the right to vote.

    We should have poll watchers at every poll in the country and be prepared to stop disenfranchisement at its heart.

    Occupy the voting booth.

    The Muslim said "I wished I had met Christ before I met the Christians" - Rev. Marvin Winins

    by captainlaser on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:21:08 AM PDT

  •  The GOP is showing how to turn the once (13+ / 0-)

    proud nation, beacon of democracy (Their words.), into a banana republic.  They don't want elections, just torch-passing, or in recent years the maintaining of the royal lineage.  People should be as exorcised over this as they seem to be when gun rights are threatened (even when they're not).  "First the Republican governors under directions of the Koch shadow government take away your vote, and then they're coming for your guns."

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:25:46 AM PDT

    •  They are doing their best to take us back (5+ / 0-)

      to a time when it seemed "fittin' and proper" that only SOME Americans would be allowed to participate in our civic life. Them colored folks? They cain't even read. The wimmins? Who let 'em out of the kitchen? This isn't MY America.

      Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

      by OrdinaryIowan on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:40:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This could easily be titled "The War Against (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrdinaryIowan, skohayes, PAbluestater

    Democratic Voters", but it goes much deeper than this.

    I've made myself a promise never to watch Melissa Harris-Perry again (she's wonderful, but what I learned today is depressing beyond words).  

    The cards are so stacked against African-Americans that they may as well still be slaves.  

    One of the (or maybe more) companies that run private prisons has written to republican governors suggesting that they'd be interested in establishing institutions in their state if they could be guaranteed a 90% inmate population.

    Sorry about being off topic, but I'm just beside myself.  This can't be allowed to continue.


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:42:29 AM PDT

  •  And yet in Afghanistan we've "brought (3+ / 0-)

    democracy" by letting people vote and dipping their index fingers in purple dye. While here in the "Land of the Free" it's "Papers, Please!"

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:45:00 AM PDT

  •  Why isn't DoJ involved in the PA lawsuit (4+ / 0-)

    or bringing their own lawsuit, or seeking an injunction to halt the law from going into effect?

    •  They can only (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG

      involve themselves in certain states, counties, etc, as is outlined in the Civil Rights Act.
      States
      Alabama
      Alaska
      Arizona
      Georgia, except for the city of Sandy Springs
      Louisiana
      Mississippi
      South Carolina
      Texas
      Virginia, except for fourteen counties (Amherst, Augusta, Botetourt, Essex, Frederick, Greene, Middlesex, Page, Pulaski, Roanoke, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Washington and Warren) and four independent cities (Fairfax, Harrisonburg, Salem, and Winchester)

      Counties
      California: Kings, Merced, Monterey, Yuba
      Florida: Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, Monroe
      New York: Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan)
      North Carolina: Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Camden, Caswell, Chowan, Cleveland (except for the city of Kings Mountain), Craven, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gaston, Gates, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Jackson, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Onslow, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Robeson, Rockingham, Scotland, Union, Vance, Washington, Wayne, Wilson
      South Dakota: Shannon, Todd

      Townships
      Michigan: Clyde Township (Allegan County), Buena Vista Township
      New Hampshire: Rindge, Millsfield, Pinkham's Grant, Stewartstown, Stratford, Benton, Antrim, Boscawen, Newington, Unity
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:01:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not exactly. The Act does not enumerate (6+ / 0-)

        jurisdictions. It sets forth standards for courts to apply. The list consists of those places that have to get permission from DoJ for any electoral changes because they lost cases under the Voting Rights Act, mostly back in the 60s, and have never straightened up enough to get out from under court/DoJ supervision.

        DoJ can go after anybody who violates the Voting Rights Act anywhere, even if they are not under previous court orders. The problem in some states is that the Supreme Court has approved a number of heinous Voter ID laws, claiming that getting a picture ID is not an undue burden as long as states do not charge for them. But then states charge for birth certificates, and even fail to provide them.

        The strategy is to find something that has not been explicitly prohibited for each new election cycle. We then have to litigate that, and even if we win, they think up something else to try the time after.

        We need prison time for criminal election officials, but so far there is no political will to treat them as common felons.

        Hands off my ObamaCare[TM] http://www.healthcare.gov

        by Mokurai on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:46:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's for the Voting Rights Act. (5+ / 0-)

        But the constitution forbids a poll tax, and the Supreme Court has declared the right to vote to be "fundamental." and any limitation subject to strict scrutiny.

        So it seems to me like DoJ can intervene if they believe the right to vote is being threatened regardless specifically of the VRA, but what do I know.

  •  Happy Bastille Day. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pengiep, OrdinaryIowan

    If this happened in Paris they'd chop off Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's head.

    Too bad Yankees are pussies compared to the French.

    That Giant Sucking Sound Is Wall Street Billionaires Drinking Your Blood.

    by olo on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:48:30 AM PDT

    •  "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time (0+ / 0-)

      to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson was of like mind to the French, and no doubt inspired by their struggle against an entrenched, hereditarily entitled ruling class, as the Republicans apparently hope to become. Not advocating violence here, just sayin'..

      Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

      by OrdinaryIowan on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:59:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Use the opportunity (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lisawines, PAbluestater, Ahianne

    If 125,000 KOS'ers (and allies) can take on 5 cases of people disenfranchised, and work to get these people the required documents in time to vote, you not only win the state for Obama but probably turn over the state legislature as well.

    You have the issue. You have the anger. Use it. Don't let opportunities like this pass you buy.

    http://www.danablankenhorn.com

    by Dana Blankenhorn on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:53:15 AM PDT

  •  I think we need to fight the law, but at the same (9+ / 0-)

    time we've got to get people IDs.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:57:50 AM PDT

    •  Yes that is what the Obama campaign is (7+ / 0-)

      working on as I got a call the day of the Primary and they asked if I had any problem with photo ID in PA for the primary or if anyone I know did.

      They are making every effort to get volunteers trained and that is part of the training. We are trying to help voters become informed what they will need. PA is supposed to be sending out letters soon to every voter about these laws and specifically what they need.

      We are still waiting on the damn letters from the state but we are still helping people get a ride to the DMV and get the Photo ID. Be sure to tell people to ask for a Photo ID for voting or there will be a fee.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:22:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In Mississippi, (9+ / 0-)

    they have discovered a Catch 22 in their law.

    In the state, a measure written by State Senator Joey Fillingane (R) and approved by a ballot initiative requires voters to have photograph identification, which they can only obtain if they’ve got a birth certificate to present. But they can only get a birth certificate using photo ID. (It is worth noting here that Fillingane is a member of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is notorious for its voter suppression efforts).
    http://thinkprogress.org/...

    Fortunately, Mississippi is one of the states that must have voting laws approved by the feds:

    The law is not yet in place, since the federal government needs to approve it under the Voting Rights Act. That Act forbids state voting laws that have a discriminatory impact on minority voters, and, because of Mississippi’s sordid history of voter suppression, requires that the state’s voting laws be precleared by the Justice Department or a federal judge before they can take effect.
    Hopefully, this law will be thrown out as well.

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:05:35 AM PDT

  •  Joan is right. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, wishingwell, PAbluestater

    But as long as I'm encouraging you to volunteer, why not be a poll worker this election?  I've been a poll worker and it was worth it to see how the voting process works.

    •  I did that in California. They told me that I was (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, Eric Nelson, Ahianne

      not permitted to tell voters about provisional ballots, but that I could provide one if asked for it. I raised a minor stink that got some Internet and media publicity, with the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

      I did it again in Indiana, where I witnessed our election judge making an illegal political speech at the polls, and chased people with signs and buttons back to the legal distance from the door of the polling place.

      GOTV is more critical than working at the polls, but a lot of shenanigans go on at the polls, too.

      I am a Founding Member of the Open Voting Consortium, which created a prototype for a secure, auditable, believable Free Software/Open Source voting system that printed ballots, combining the virtues of both electronic systems and paper, and avoiding the weaknesses of both. Our original hope of getting our system into use in the US has run up against political and financial obstacles, so we are in the process of retargetting our work to schools.

      Hands off my ObamaCare[TM] http://www.healthcare.gov

      by Mokurai on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:56:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Simply Amazing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, PAbluestater

    I think that the Voter Suppression Laws should all be thrown out and I hope that the courts do their jobs on this one...

  •  Great stuff, Joan. Thanks! N/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PAbluestater
  •  All need be done if repubs are concerned (0+ / 0-)

    about voter I'd. Have everyone registered at birth. Nothing would conform ID better than a frisky baby laying right in front of you with a tee shirt on saying I RELITRERED CHUMP! That enough for you righty?

  •  Too late? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    Is it possible that these challenges to the voter ID laws could be heard by the Supremes before the November elections?  

    That's the important question.  It would not surprise me if the Republicans knew these laws would be overturned, but figured they'd have their desired effect in the upcoming elections.

    Even so, there is no way that there should not be a significant Democratic victory in November, unless our side continues to be as weak and apathetic as they have been.

  •  Imagine a law to limit voting only within city? (0+ / 0-)

    "Voter ID" laws (deliberately) put an added burden on "poor" voters. So I was wondering, what might an opposite equally stupid law look like to illustrate just how impractical/transparently-criminal such a law is?

    How about if someone introduced a bill limiting voting only to people "living within the city limits"? If you don't live within the definable boundaries of the nearest town, you can't vote because we can't be sure you are a resident of the specific town you are voting in. How do we know you're don't live on the border and are voting in TWO county elections, hmmm?

    Since most "inner-city" residents are poorer than those living in the suburbs, I think this would qualify as an "equally stupid counter argument" for "Voter ID" laws.

    What say you?

    * Bill Clinton made me a Democrat. But George W Bush made me a Liberal.
    MugsysRapSheet.com

    by Mugsy on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:56:15 AM PDT

  •  voter id (0+ / 0-)

    we need affirmative action voting. people of color should be allowed to vote twice to make up for past discrimination

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