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Cartoon of voters queued up to cast ballots
Pennsylvania's voter ID law has been upheld by a commonwealth judge and has been appealed to the commonwealth's supreme court. [See Adam B's analysis here.] It is unlikely to be overturned by the high court.

Will it make a difference about who gets Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes? Right now, a poll by the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall shows President Obama holding a 6-point lead. That's in line with previous polls by various organizations in the past couple of months. But will the voter ID law have a negative impact on turnout of Democratic voters as critics of the law have claimed?

"The reality is it [voter ID] will not have much effect—if anything it will boomerang" against the Republicans, agreed Larry Ceisler, the veteran Philadelphia-based political analyst. He speculated that it might affect some local races, which could be decided by a handful of votes.
Perhaps. But, as David Dayen points out, this is all about shaving votes off the margins when one or two percent points could make a difference, not just in local races but all the way to the top of the ticket.

The New York Times editorial board has weighed in on the decision:

There is no evidence that Judge Simpson contorted law and precedent to reach his conclusion. He even described Mr. Turzai’s comment as “disturbing” and “tendentious.” But his ruling, in a case brought by potentially disenfranchised voters, is a clear and disturbing illustration of the way Republicans have manipulated legislation for their own ends, placing a veneer of civic responsibility on a low-minded and sleazy political ploy.

The real reasons for voter ID laws are quite clear. The desire to dampen the Democratic vote after 2006—and particularly in the wake of President Obama’s election—prompted six states to decide, virtually simultaneously, to pass voter ID laws.


Lindsey Ruta and Annelise Russell have written an excellent analysis for NBC's Open Channel regarding the impact of photo ID laws on the Latino vote in Texas and other states with large Latino populations. Latinos have comparatively low voter participation rate. Although 600,000 of them become eligible to cast ballots every year, only about 30 percent of them actually do so. That could change, and in eight states, Latinos could come to dominate the political scene over the next one to three decades, depending on which state is being considered.

Expectations among groups such as the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials are that the Latino vote percentage this year will be a good deal higher than in 2008. Given the distaste with which the majority of Latinos have for the Republican Party, it is no surprise that suppressing their votes is part of a GOP-led campaign.

In Texas, Republicans have passed legislation requiring a government ID card to vote and has made it more difficult for people to acquire such cards. The argument for doing so, as is the case elsewhere, is to prevent voter fraud. But, Ruta and Russell write that of the 100 cases Texas says it has investigated in the past decade, only 10 have led to convictions, and only one of those was for voter impersonation at the polls where a photo ID might have made a difference.

The state has 13 million voters, so the ID requirement is clearly a solution in search of a problem, as one legislator put it. Implementation of the law is pending a federal district court ruling. Estimates of how many voters lack the required ID in Texas range from the state's claim of 167,724 to the 1.5 million claimed by the U.S. Justice Department.

The low level of fraud is also the case in other states with large Latino populations whether they require photo IDs or not. In Colorado, for instance, a non-photo ID is required. There have been 21 convictions for voter fraud since 2000, only three for impersonating a voter. It is unclear from the data available whether these three were in person or by mail. Colorado legislators have considered but not passed photo ID laws in each of the past eight years.

In New Mexico, the state which has the highest concentration of Latino voters at 38 percent, there is no photo ID requirement. The state attorney general's office says there has never been a conviction for voter fraud. The legislature has rejected proposed photo ID laws there in each of the past four years.

(Continue reading about the war on voting below the fold.)

  • Democrats and New Jersey Action have joined forces to ensure that a voter photo ID requirement does not become law in the Garden State. Three Ocean County Republicans have introduced such a bill. But both houses of the legislature are dominated by Democrats, so passage is highly unlikely. Just to be certain, however, a few Democrats and NJA members are getting the word out. There were at a senior apartment building Thursday to make their case.
    “There are 21 million Americans that don’t have photo IDs. Eighteen percent of them are seniors, 25 percent—one in four—are African-Americans, 20 percent are students,” said Assemblyman John McKeon. “So two-thirds of that number are from constituencies that are frankly likely to vote Democratic.”
  • A federal court has ruled that restrictions on early voting hours discriminate against African Americans in five counties of Florida and must be changed. [See analysis here.] The restriction on hours may discriminate in other counties, too, but the court only had jurisdiction in those counties under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It requires that 16 states or counties without states must pre-clear any major changes in voting procedures because of their past racial discrimination at the polls. Florida may therefore have two different early-voting regimens this year, one for those five counties and one for the rest of the state.
  • In Ohio, Secretary of State Jon Husted imposed standard early-voting hours statewide Thursday. [See analysis here.] The change was made under pressure from voter-advocacy groups complaining that election boards in Republican counties were extending early voting hours while election boards in Democratic counties were curtailing them with Husted's assistance. The boards are composed of four members evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. Democratic board members in Republican counties were voting for extending hours, but Republican board members in Democratic counties were voting to curtail hours and Husted was weighing in with the tie-breaking vote in favor of keeping the hours short. This would have a discriminatory impact on minority voters.

    Given the heat behind the scenes and in the media, critics were hoping Husted might extend the hours statewide. Instead, he chose to limit early-voting hours everywhere. Thus, there will be no weekend early voting and very limited early voting in the evenings.

  • A spokesperson for a Virginia advocacy group says the state's proposed voter photo-ID law is reminiscent of the "Jim Crow" South and is part of "bare-knuckle attempts to keep the working poor, people of color and the wrong kind of women away from the polls." An ad hoc coalition of three progressive groups in the state seek reform on voting in Virginia, specifically passage of no-excuse absentee balloting and a new approach to restoring voting rights to felons who have served their time. The state now has one of the most restrictive restoration laws in the country.
  • Democratic county clerks in Arkansas are irked that a spokesman for Secretary of State Alex Reed has disparaged them for supposedly being apathetic about undocumented immigrants illegally registering to vote. Reed said on tape:
    "That's why I preach around to the county officials that it's so important to have a Republican county clerk in every county," he said. "Because that's the main person there and that's who we work with the most. Either through error, they register and have the wrong address and it's, 'Oh well,' they're registered voters.'"

    The Arkansas Association of County Clerks issued a statement, saying, among other things: "What's in question—is Reed implying that Democrat county clerks are not upholding voter laws? And what evidence is there that illegal immigrants have registered to vote?" Democrats blasted the GOP for failing to criticize Reed's remarks.

  • New York is upgrading its online voter registration, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday:
    "Today, we are knocking down longstanding barriers that have prevented many New Yorkers from participating in the democratic process, while creating a more streamlined and more efficient system that will save taxpayers' money. At the DMV, or in their own homes, New Yorkers will now have a convenient and secure way to ensure they are able to register and exercise their right to vote." [...]

    New York currently ranks 47th in the nation in voter registration, with less than 64% of eligible residents registered to vote.

  • A U.S. district court judge dismissed a broad challenge to Minnesota voting laws on Friday. The ruling reaffirmed same-day voter registration. The lawsuit filed by a Republican state legislator, the Minnesota Voters Alliance and the Minnesota Freedom Council claimed, among other things, that election officials did not confirm the eligibility of those registering on election day before those votes were counted.

    But Judge Donovan Frank stated that the claim was "based on the erroneous premise that elections official must verify voters' eligibility before their votes are counted. Under Minnesota election statutes, voters themselves certify their eligibility to vote, under threat of criminal prosecution if they do so falsely."

    The Minnesota Voters Alliance is also behind a proposed amendment that would require a photo ID to vote. A case challenging aspects of the amendment is pending before the state supreme court.

Daily Kos War on Voting stories this week:

Five counties affected by federal court ruling that Florida's early voting change discriminates by Meteor Blades

Pennsylvania voter ID law upheld, for now by Adam B

PA GOP Governor Kills Online Voter Registration Plan On Same Day Voter Suppression Law is Upheld by Dartagnan

Florida Today and I witnessed what we are up against ! by Vetwife

Is the Ryan Pick doubling down on Voter Suppression? by BruceMcF

Pittsburgh Stealers: The Voter ID & Paul Ryan Strategy by CrazyHorse

Ohio secretary of state sets early voting hours the same for all counties by Meteor Blades

Florida plans to keep purging voters by Meteor Blades

Ohio secretary of state may end Jim Crow voting disparity with uniform early-voting-hours policy by Meteor Blades

Ethnic Voter Cleansing by Words in Action

Republicans Will Hate This: California's Anti Voter-Suppression Act by jpmassar

Voter Fraud discovered! by litho

Study Shows Voter Fraud "Virtually Non-Existent", Red States Eliminating Legal Voters by Words in Action

Voting Rights: Information/Action Plans? by jmls qkw

Registration, Identification, Participation, and YOUR Vote by jamess

Jim Crow? What You Need to Know About Your Right to Vote by Susan form 29

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am no legal expert in this matter (20+ / 0-)

    but ffs, this seems like something Holder should've been on from day one.

    I am ALL about cutting Obama and even Holder some political slack, but not on this issue. This should've been nationalized and dealt with over the past 4 years.

    In a fair contest, PA would be a huge win for Obama. This voter suppression makes me very, very nervous.

    I saw what happened IN ohio in 2004 (huge lines in inner cities; hours and hours of waiting to vote) and it may have made the difference.

  •  Thanks MB for this summary (12+ / 0-)

    of the voter suppression issue.

    We need to keep it front and center.

    Also, we need to come with ways those of us who don't live in the affected states can help.  

  •  in North Carolina (15+ / 0-)

    Bev Perdue vetoed the Voter ID bill !

    Thank You Bev.

    •  But BECAUSE of the poisonous influence (4+ / 0-)

      of Koch-er Art Pope in the 2010 "elections", the legislative districts (not to mention congressional districts) in our state have been so fraudulently redrawn by the new Teapublican majority that, if anything, more Teapublicans will be "elected" this November.

      Worse, Bev isn't running, Walter Dalton (the Democratic candidate) is grossly underfunded, and Pat McCrory (the Americans for Prosperity whore who is the Teapuke candidate) has millions of dollars and a clear lead in the polls.

      Unless Democrats (and enlightened Republicans - as if) in North Carolina wake up, McCrory will be governor, the legislature will increase its Teapuke majority, and our state will, finally, swirl down the toilet into pure Teabaggia.

      The only thing that has prevented that outcome this year has been Bev Perdue - and far too many of her vetoes have been overridden by the crooks and the Blew Dawgs. God help us without her. :-(

      "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

      by blue in NC on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 08:56:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How could we counter this? (8+ / 0-)

    Maybe make voters bring their tax returns?  (It's just a thought experiment....)

    Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

    "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

    by Seneca Doane on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 08:17:07 AM PDT

  •  This is so serious and after dealing with (0+ / 0-)

    the aftermath is almost beyond imagination.  This is an excellent diary MB, as usual and to bring it into the neanderthal knuckle dragging perspective I posted a little levity of such ridiculous laws when no voter fraud is evident, the after math will be something if we don't nip it in the bud.  Unfortunately it is probably too late  Barney had it right.  Holder got it wrong

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 08:17:52 AM PDT

  •  This issue is the one that scares me the most (9+ / 0-)

    as an American. It is also the one that makes me the
    most angry. I am glad that diaries are continuing to be frontpaged on this, and cable hosts, particularly on MSNBC continue to run daily stories, and don't seem to be letting up.

     The constant exposure is what made the Ohio SoS change the rules. It's going to take all of us standing up to this, or our greatest freedoms are going to continue to be eroded.

    Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

    by Sherri in TX on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 08:25:33 AM PDT

  •  Voter suppression in my opinion is the number (8+ / 0-)

    one reason that we can never be too sure that this election is in the bag. It is also the reason that third party and no-votes are unacceptable. If this election is won in the margins then we can't let up for a second.

    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

    by stellaluna on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 08:29:19 AM PDT

    •  3rd party votes and no-votes are unacceptable? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The point of voter suppression is that the view of the Republican party that they should take advantage of an opportunity to decide which classes of voters are more acceptable than others ~ how is that different than declaring that the decisions of those who see the entire system as entirely corrupt is unacceptable?

      The point of campaigning is supposed to be to force political partisans to have to strive to persuade those who are not party loyalists to vote for them.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 12:11:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is anyone else amazed that 6 other states would (5+ / 0-)

    change their policy to reflect institutionalized racism in order to throw the 2012 election?

    That is just fucking jaw dropping.

    Something I would expect to read about in a History Book regarding the 60s or maybe even 70s, but in 2012?


    •  It's not so far removed from the 60s or the 70s (7+ / 0-)

      In fact, our last Chief Justice of the SCOTUS had a long history of involvement in voter suppression efforts in his home state.

      It's very likely that some of the people writing these new laws, had a hand in writing the old ones, too.  It's all taken place over the span of one lifetime.l

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:03:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  American Legislative Exchange Council (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, psnyder, beforedawn, BruceMcF, Ahianne

      A growing number of conservative Republican state legislators worked fervently during the last two years to enact laws requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

      Lawmakers proposed 62 photo-ID bills in 37 states in the 2011 and 2012 sessions, with multiple bills introduced in some states, including two by Democrats in Rhode Island. Ten states have passed strict photo-ID laws since 2008, though several face legal challenges.

      A News21 analysis found that more than half of the 62 bills were sponsored by members or conference attendees of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Washington-based, tax-exempt organization.

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:23:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The foot soldiers in the War on Voting ? (11+ / 0-)

          ALEC members in state legislatures across the country.


    The GOP ... Government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

    by Azazello on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 08:31:08 AM PDT

  •  Voter Fraud and GOP (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue in NC, wishingwell, Ahianne

    Back in the day, I would listen to Republican politicians talk about how Democrats stole elections by loading up buses filled with illegal aliens and taking them to friendly inner city voting precincts. I'm not kidding.

    The crowds would boo.  The politician would rant about how these illegals were taking OUR jobs, and living high on the hog with welfare payments, sending their kids to OUR schools and the government looks the other way because the illegal aliens have such high voter turnout (with the big buses).

    In this hate-soaked, fact-free environment, Voter ID laws seem entirely reasonable and necessary.  Putting out the facts is helpful, but we are not going to persuade these people.  This issue isn't about persuasion, its about securing suffrage rights.  

    The Justice Department needs to look at Voter ID law as they would Jim Crow laws and attack.  Eric Holder, are you listening?

    •  Part of me thinks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that the GOP establishment is still thinking of the 1960 election and when Kennedy won IL on the last minute votes out of Chicago.

      Hence, so much talk of "Chicago politics".

      Also, I'm not sure if they realize that Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. has been dead for 43 years.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:09:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Isn't it self-defeating to focus on ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... "these people" that "can't be persuaded"? The aim of someone engaged in a political fight in what was once a Republic is to find those who can be persuaded, and persuade them.

      Indeed, among that crowd are likely to be people who have a very anti-corporate view and can be persuaded that the people telling those lies are doing so in service to corporate interests. Likely not a majority of that crowd, but Reagan did not win by splitting of a majority of Democrats, but by splitting off enough Democrats to overcome the Democrat's advantage in party affiliation.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 12:17:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't understand (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, dinotrac, BruceMcF

    the statement about Virginia.   Virginia doesn't have a photo ID law.   It does have an ID law, but a photo isn't needed.   Even a utility bill or phone bill is sufficient.

  •  It's About Keep The House Of Representatives (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, BruceMcF

    They want to control the purse-strings to use as a way to get some of what they want even if they don't control the Senate or the White House.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 08:39:10 AM PDT

  •  nearly all the states that (0+ / 0-)

    are suppressing votes are red or swing states not blue, one because they want to win and second because they are racially intolerant, bigoted to be blunt, anyone that would vote for a republican after this i can only assume have that same attitude, guilt by association is very valid here.

    •  I think that racial intolerance (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BruceMcF, Ahianne

      (unfortunately) can be found in every state.  The factors that push racial intolerance into certain states' statehouses has a lot more to do with organization, money and infrastructure of those activists pushing these laws than with individual attitudes of the voters/residents of those states.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:11:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  now ... could you please condense all of it (0+ / 0-)

    in a 2 minutes video designed in a way that ANY foreigner or normal less well informed person out there could grasp the content if they see it in their evening news ... ?

    I am of course just kidding, the only thing that comes to my mind reading this is "Why should we make simple federal law, when we can make complex ones that are so much more appealing to predator politicians and useful to destroy democracy. Democracy - such a mess, darn it. Let's fight it every way we can."  /snark

    Sigh. Great detailed summary. Like any uncle joe and aunt mary, 3/4 through the diary my mind had already difficulties to hold the information in the head.

    But may be one should donate money to produce the whole thing in a longer advertising piece and spread it out in radio and TV etc.

  •  This will backfire on the GOTP, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Ahianne

    It has started a movement in Black communities all over the USA.  Black's fought and died for the right to vote, we won't be giving up that right easily.

    I'm a Louisiana Liberal, and I despise Jindal, Landreau, Vitter and the rest of the idiots that represent my state!

    by truth2008 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 08:57:45 AM PDT

    •  Yes I think we are going to see it in PA as some (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of those canvassing in our GOTV Saturdays we have been doing for a few weeks now and which will continue until Election day; Democrats are pissed off about this voter ID law in PA and they are determined to vote and help others get to the DMV with the required documentation to get a photo ID.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:38:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good and we should be doing this is every state (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, Ahianne

        that has new voter ID laws.  Our GOTV efforts must include:

        1.  Are you registered?

        2.  Do you have an ID?

        If no to either question, the interviewer should immediately dispatch a team to make certain they are corrected.

        •  Yes but also stress the Photo ID must be (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          current, have the correct address on it of where the voter lives now....and have an expiration date.

          We are worried about some poor and urban voters who tend to move a lot or may move between now and Election Day.  They can register to vote in their new district but then their voter ID must be updated by calling PennDot or contacting the DMV to change their address.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:13:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Its got to be MADE to backfire ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... the only way to defeat the wave of racist voter ID laws is to exact a political price from those pursuing racist voter ID laws.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 12:19:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of course, this is rich... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    There is no evidence that Judge Simpson contorted law and precedent to reach his conclusion. He even described Mr. Turzai’s comment as “disturbing” and “tendentious.”
  •  Does anyone with a credit card not have ID? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I always carry a photo ID to be ready to use with a credit card. Obviously the voter ID laws affect the young, poor, and elderly most of all, as they are the ones without credit cards or cars. I wonder if many of those elderly without ID will turn out to be Republican who no longer drive or shop with a credit card.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:00:05 AM PDT

    •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

      This is my question too.  Is there any data on the real effect of these voter ID laws?

      Are those people who float thru life without an ID really going to vote anyway?  It takes effort to vote.  First you have to care.  Then you have to know that there's an election and when.  Then you have to get your ass to the polls.  Then you have to know who to vote for.

      I just wonder in reality how many of these people there are who really care about voting but DON'T have an ID.

      •  There are a number of regular voters here in PA (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Anne Elk, BruceMcF, Ahianne

        without photo ID as they do not own a car, do not drive , use public transporation or get a ride from friends in carpools and such.  We have a ton of urban voters in Pittsburgh and Philly who do vote but do not have a photo ID, that is our concern. As in PA, often one only needs a Photo ID to drive or for a passport.

        We are worried about the urban voter, not just poor urban voters either, who do not drive and have no photo ID as it is not needed unless they look young and want to get into a bar and then they get a PA Liquor Control Board ID photo least most college students do.

        We always have a lot of out of state college students who are registered to vote here and do not have a PA photo ID

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:42:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ? (0+ / 0-)

          According to this page:

          College IDs are accepted.

          Second thing, do you know how many of these non-ID people we're talking about?

        •  How do they do anything in college without a (0+ / 0-)

          photo ID?  We can't get even a instructor/faculty ID or a student ID for the students, to be on campus, without a current photo ID.  They can't  get into the library, have access to labs or equipment, pay tuition, take a proctored test, get parking passes or even register without them.  

          •  Yes, but there's a catch-22. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Remember that most of those privileges are current for a semester or a year at a time ~ a new ID each semester would be a substantial extra cost, so rather than have an expiration date, they act as keys to computer databases, and what is says in the computer database determines whether you can enroll in that class, get that parking pass, or check out books from the library.

            So all you have to do is to say "College ID's are valid photo ID's" in one section, and then another section says it must be a valid photo ID with an expiration date, and voila, most college ID's do not, in fact, qualify.

            The fact that they can be listed as being valid ID's and then the student is told when they show up to vote that their's isn't because their university/college didn't put an expiration date on the ID ... that just makes it even better, because some college students who could have obtained a different photo ID didn't bother.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 12:40:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But most college ID do have expiration dates (0+ / 0-)

              Mine does....anywhere I have ever taught has had them.  

              You kinda have to because with no expiration date listed a person could keep an ID indefinitely and use facilities and equipment and gyms that they are no longer authorized to use.

              •  Only if the ID itself is a pass to the facility. (0+ / 0-)

                Reporting is that most Pennsylvania colleges do not have expiration dates on their college ID's, so it would seem that "Mine does....anywhere I have ever taught has had them." has not involved a large enough sample of Pennsylvania colleges to be a valid sample on the impact of the law in Pennsylvania.

                Indeed, here in neighboring I've got a Kent State faculty ID upstairs that has no expiration date on it.

                As far as facilities, while anyone can go into the Kent State library, if you are no longer a student or faculty member, having the ID is no use for checking out a book, because it won't work when you slide the card through the card scanner.

                Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 02:34:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Most colleges in PA did not have expiration dates (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                on photo ID cards but are starting that now for the Fall semester. I know the state universities like Penn State, Lock Haven,  Sllippery Rock, and so on are starting this, not sure about private colleges.  

                Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

                by wishingwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:11:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Yes but PA wants expiration dates and will not (0+ / 0-)

            students with out of state drivers license but proof that they are students here and with all kinds of paperwork showing their residence in PA for college, still not acceptable.

            They are now taking private college student IDs with expiration dates, originally they were only going to accept state university ID.

            Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

            by wishingwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:09:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  There are very large chunks of (4+ / 0-)

      folks in this country who don't have credit cards (people use those pay as you go debit/credit cards, for which you don't need photo ID).

      Present company included. ;^).

      I would also imagine that the group of new citizens voters from certain immigrant communities might also have a higher proportion of non-credit card holders than that which is typical in US middle-class communities, as the banking and financial practices in those communities do tend to be someone different from those of the dominant or mainstream community's "norms".  

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:31:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I register new citizens voters every month (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a gilas girl

        and they always have a California ID, which we ask for.  No one has ever been without one, so I have assumed it is part of the requirements as they go through the process of becoming citizens.

        The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

        by ybruti on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 10:34:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That makes perfect sense to me (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ybruti, Ahianne

          In Virginia, however, the state legislature really doubled up on the process of getting a government sanctioned photo ID after 9/11 and there are some exurban counties here in the Northern part of the state that have reacted quite strongly to the growth in the immigrant communities here (i.e. the immigrant communities have moved out to the exurban counties because the costs of living are lower) and thus there's lots of backlash toward making any aspect of those folks' lives easier.

          In Virginia we sit not only at the crossroads of various cultural and geographic intersections, but sometimes temporal ones too.  You can travel a few counties and it feels as if you've crossed into not just a different decade, but sometimes even a different century.  

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 10:51:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The problem with a government-issued ID (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            a gilas girl

            is that it can take such a long time to get one - if you've changed address, or perhaps never had one and need photo ID (like my former students) to take a GED test. I remember one young woman who waited impatiently for two months for her ID to arrive long after she was very ready to take the tests.  And what provision is made for people who have misplaced their IDs soon before election day?  Can they fill out a provisional and have their signatures verified as happens with absentee ballots?

            The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

            by ybruti on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 01:15:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  most stores now take credit cards without photo (0+ / 0-)

      ID. I am only asked for ID when using a check for a purchase. But If I use a debit or credit card , they never ask for ID.  

      Republicans always tell us that eveyrone should have photo ID for everything they do, when in reality, that is not the case. I have not been asked for a photo ID for anything in years.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:39:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lots of people don't have credit cards (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Poor people who tend to vote D, for example. That's the point of this whole effort.

      The universe may have a meaning and a purpose, but it may just specifically not include you.

      by Anne Elk on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:52:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have three credit cards and one debit card ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... I've never had to show photo ID to use any of them.

      An important point about the elderly is that there are among them a large number of "Reagan Democrats" who come home to the Democratic party when Social Security and Medicare is under threat. And this is particularly true of nursing home residents, a large number of whom both lack photo ID and will find it very difficult to obtain photo ID.

      It would be simpler if the President was campaigning on protecting Medicare and Social rather than on making smaller cuts than the Republicans ... but still, the cuts proposed by the Republicans are so large that the Republicans are best off cutting off the nursing home vote.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 12:22:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not just nursing homes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But seniors in general. Many of them went off the old trust system. My old next door neighbor never had any valid ID since she let her husband handle all the affairs, as was the custom at that time.  Others stopped driving and so never renewed their driver's license, and for most purposes short of passing through TSA or a military base, an expired ID is as good as a current ID.

        •  Since they accept a passport ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... they are not looking for proof of address ...

          ... so why does an expired driver's license only work in PA for a year after the expiration date ... when does the citzenship expire, again? I believe I skipped that part of the Constitution when I last read through it. Or maybe I only read the whole number amendments and missed the 14½th amendment.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 09:06:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Unverifiable voting machines - a problem needing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, beforedawn, BruceMcF

    fixed and yet neither Party wants to address it.  

    This is a real problem in need of a solution that can take away our belief that we have a "democratic republic" and yet both Parties continue to jockey and position with voter ID.  

    Tampering with vote rigging and non-verifiable voting machines and centralized corporatized reporting can swing many votes in many states.   It puts the elections under corporate and Party control instead of people control.  

    The process needs to be made with bullet proof integrity above all else.   Thom Hartmann was saying once that our elections are already suspect because the worldwide exit polling standard no longer matches results in many cases.

    Why did the Democratic Party not correct this outrage?

    Victims of bigotry are the poorest, least influential members of society.......never the wealthiest, most educated, most overrepresented in high levels, and most influential. Bigotry hurts the least influential. To claim or say otherwise is absurd.

    by dailykozzer on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:00:07 AM PDT

  •  Voter "encouragement" legislation... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, BruceMcF

    ...almost always takes a backseat to more pressing issues. The Clinton Era "Motor Voter" bill only passed because the Democrats controlled both House of Congress AND there were still some "adults" in the GOP who had some "principled" respect for some minimal deference to the Party in Power.

    As odious as Alan Simpson is now with regard to justifying cat food as a legitimate source of sustenance for masses of elderly citizens, he would have scoffed openly on the Sunday Talk Shows at the notion of sustaining a Filibuster against Motor Voter.

    Too many voters don't understand that voter suppression isn't exclusively applicable to "easily recognized others." ANY population that becomes a perceived threat to the Powers That Be can be targeted for disenfranchisement. All it takes is clever rationalization, usually draped in a folds of red, white and blue bunting.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:04:16 AM PDT

  •  Sounds like a drive to get IDs would render (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    any court decision moot.

    Sure beats having to depend on the whims (and schedule) of whomever is warming the seat.

    Besides -- They're pretty handy to have when cashing checks and the like.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:06:42 AM PDT

    •  Perhaps... (7+ / 0-)

      but getting the ID's HAS become more difficult in the post 9/11 era.  It was a nightmare for me when my DL expired and I had lost my social security card.  I needed a valid DL to get a copy of the SS card, and I needed a SS card to get a DL from an expired DL.

      I'm a white, middle class, middle aged woman with a great deal of education who is pretty articulate on a bad day.  And it took me nearly 7 months to cut through all the bureaucracy to do it (and I needed the assistance of a case manager who knew individual people at the local social security office that she could call and talk with to intervene on my process and navigate through the red tape).

      Change one aspect of that formulation and the difficulty increases.  Change more than one aspect of that and it increases exponentially.

      The system is no longer set up to facilitate the easy processing of either getting an ID or registering to vote.  It now requires extra resources on the part of the person seeking what should be fundamental practices and rights for citizens.  By resources I mean the full range of them: financial, emotional, social and cultural, because you may have to tap into every one of them just to get through some of these processes.  Not all of us are blessed with access to all of those resources at the same time.  Some of us don't have access to any of them.  

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:40:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure. Given all the energy that can be mustered (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a gilas girl

        for GOTV, I should the some GSID would help at least a little bit -- not to mention that the nice young man/woman who helped to get the ID mentioned that they were supporting XXXXX for office A,B, C...oh, what the heck --  just check all the names on the line!!

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 10:13:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  but if one goes to a bank to cash a check as often (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, native

      is the case, no photo ID is required if they have an account at that bank. I have a friend who votes regularly but due to his health, the doctor will not let him drive and so his license expired. We have a ton of seniors in that position. And they use cash for purchases or a debit card which requires no Photo ID.  It is not needed most of the time.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:46:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A friend in Pittsburgh (4+ / 0-)

    reports that when talking to African-American senior citizens about voter suppression in Pennsylvania, their eyes brighten and they look forward to confronting poll workers. "They've been trying to take away my right to vote since the 1950s," said one elder to my young friend, who was walking precincts for Obama.

    "When you give back all your ill-gotten gains, you're a reformed crook. When you keep most of the loot and only give back a small part of it, you're a philanthropist." - Alfred E. Newman

    by Abstract668 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:06:52 AM PDT

  •  Here's the thing (5+ / 0-)

    Back in the day, in post WWII America, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights activists who had already been at work for 80 some-odd years trying to secure the both the franchise AND the blessings of liberty, equality and justice for all for the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and beyond of America's slaves (not just the Old Confederacy's slaves) had an awareness that the way to achieve this goal involved a multi-pronged strategy:

    1. Grassroots level protests, boycotts conducted in a non-violent fashion to expose the blatant counterexample ot the American mythos of its democratic heritage and legacy (and to shame the thinking part of the electorate to move out of the "conventional wisdom" of the status quo of the time and into the new "conventional wisdom" that the movement was advocating

    2. Legislative change (and relief via laws)

    3. Court actions

    4. Public messaging and eventual media support for that messaging (MLK Jr was very media-genic - he could write a mean letter from jail to be published in Newspapers, give a speech that resonated with folks on radios across the nation and stage a march with all the dramatic visuals that television loved).

    No one piece of this entire project alone was sufficient to reach the Prize.

    The GOP learned well from that and is following the same logic.  Shaving off little bits with each effort, as MB so importantly draws our attention to, is exactly the strategy they are invoking.

    Which suggests to me that the strategy to counter these efforts has to be similar in its multiple and small target focus.  

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:26:37 AM PDT

  •  Tactically I'm not sure of the impact (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Anne Elk

    My 94 year old Pennsylvania mother in law is still capable of voting and has preferences for Democrats.  She has broken her hip and reluctantly uses a walker on the rare occasions she goes out.  The mechanics of getting to the polls would probably mean she wouldn't vote in any case, but getting a voter ID would mean days worth of planning, getting transportation and bureaucratic hassle.  There is no way she going to vote this year.  
    On the other hand only age group McCain won was over 60 year old.   Most likely these voter suppression moves will have the biggest impact on the elderly.  It is also going to lead to rampant voter fraud.  When I voted in the primary one of the Republican poll workers wanted to promote the Voter ID law when told that it would cause my mother-in-law never to vote again he got very defensive and muttered he would allow her to vote.  Surely he would no matter what ID she had.  What sentient being is going to turn away an elderly white person who has voted for Presidents since FDR and lived in the same place for 65 years?  
    Strategically this is insane.  Having a functioning political society depends on the people believing they have some voice in deciding policy. These measures are to make sure that will of the majority is not heard.  The Republicans are on the way to convincing the electorate that we are ruled by those who have contempt for the people and the wants and needs.  

  •  What can we do to help? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beforedawn, BruceMcF, Ahianne

    I can't locate a place to volunteer time--I can certainly cart people to the DMV around here if they wish to go and get an ID.  

    Regrettably, I'm unemployed.  So although I have time, I do NOT have money.  :-)

    But rather than gripe, let's get off our butts and get 'em registered and ID'd up and then see if they get refused at the polls!

    (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:59:58 AM PDT

    •  If you go to Obama's site, it says how to help (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, ProgressiveBubba

      Sorry for your predicament. On Obama's site, I believe there's a place to enter your zip code and see how to help. Every vote will count. Just picture the hanging chads in Florida. If I had lived there, I would have driven the 500 people to the polls myself to cover the margin if I could.

  •  I like this diary (0+ / 0-)

    It gets you thinking.

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