THE POLITICAL football that is Pennsylvania's voter-ID law was punted by the state Supreme Court on Tuesday back to a lower court for more review.Well the PA Supreme Court decided to basically Punt this decision back to the Lower Court to make the decision on Voter ID.
The Supreme Court told Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson that he must put the voter-ID law on hold if he determines that it will keep voters from casting ballots. The law requires state-approved identification to vote
This is disappointing news for those of us hoping the PA Supreme Court would make a ruling on this vital matter.
See more after the Orange fancy symbol.....
The article goes on to say......
A legal coalition argued in late July that Simpson should issue a preliminary injunction to keep the law from being used in the Nov. 6 general election.Even the local newcasters said they are disappointed as they were hoping the PA Supreme Court would decide on this controversial Voter ID law once and for all.
Simpson rejected that request on Aug. 15, relying heavily on plans by the Department of State to develop a new form of identification for voters having trouble obtaining other types of state ID.
PennDOT started offering that new voter ID on Aug. 27.
The Supreme Court, which heard an appeal of Simpson's ruling on Thursday, said he is "obliged" to issue a preliminary injunction if he finds that the state is not providing "liberal access" to the new ID cards or if any voter will be unable to cast a ballot because of the voter-ID law.
The order gives Simpson until Oct. 2 to make that call.
So we still do not have a decision.
Protests are continuing in Harrisburg and other PA towns and cities regarding this Voter ID, which is considered one of the strictest in the state.
Seminars and Conferences on this Voter ID law are being held is various cities and towns across the state today. We expect more of these in the coming days to discuss the implementation of the PA Voter ID law and what voters should expect should the Lower Court decide to uphold the law as they previously did.
Tuesday's order was approved by four of six Supreme Court justices - three Republicans and one Democrat. A seventh justice, Republican Jane Orie Melvin, has been suspended by the court while facing criminal charges in Allegheny County. She is accused of using state resources for political campaigns in 2003 and 2009.So, we continue to try to get voters registered and to explain the voter ID law and what is needed to obtain a PA approved Voter ID. It is such a hardship for those with no transportation to the PennDot DMV and most of the DMV Centers have very limited hours. There are several counties in PA where the office is only open one to two days per week .
Two Democrats on the court, Justices Debra McCloskey Todd and Seamus McCaffery, filed a pair of joint dissenting opinions arguing that the Supreme Court should act now on the request for a preliminary injunction.
Todd noted that the presidential election is just 49 days away.
"The eyes of the nation are upon us, and this Court has chosen to punt rather than to act," Todd wrote. "I will have no part of it."
Those of us doing GOTV locally decided weeks ago that no matter what happened with the court decision. to be on the safe side, we were going to continue to help those who need a Photo ID and to educate voters on what they will need to bring with them both to the DMV and to the Polling Place on Election Day.
PA does not have early voting and one must state a valid reason for requesting an absentee ballot. One must show they are unable to vote on Election Day because of illness, severe hardship, or because they will be out of their voting precinct area on Election Day.
So the Fight continues on and there is so little time left for voters to obtain their voter ID. Not everyone was born in PA and it is often quite expensive and time consuming to get their birth certificate from another state. Time is Running out!!! Some people are afraid they will not their Voter ID card in time to vote because of the delay in the arrival of their birth certificate from another state. And because the Penn Dot Motor Vehicles Offices often close by 4 or 4:30, we have so many working voters who simply cannot make it to the DMV. Most DMVs in PA are not open Saturdays and many are only open one or two days per week. It is not convenient, it is not easy, and it is very time consuming to get these Photo IDS.
My husband has called various agenices and offices to find out what is needed, where we can direct people to call for a ride to the DMV, and other questions. It took him Four days to get answers to this. All we were trying to do was to Post some phone numbers on Facebook that people could call for Rides to the DMV to get their PA Approved Photo ID. The Local DMV admitted to him that they get a large number of phone calls about this and they do not have the answers. They could not even explain to him what the individuals may need in order to get their Photo ID for voting.
We were appalled and upset !
Most of the agencies we talked to in Harrisburg and locally always say
Call back, we are not sure of the answers and we do not understand this photo ID process.
And these are people working for the state or county and the PA Dept of Transportation!
I will update this later with more information and links as the news comes in.
UPDATE: more links about this story below:
LOCK HAVEN - An educational seminar will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, at the Clinton County Community Center, 124 E. Walnut St. in the Clinton Plaza, to offer information on the new Pennsylvania Voter I.D. Law.If area residents want to attend but or unable to do so, additional information is available at Rep. Hanna's headquarters, by calling 570-748-5480.
The seminar, which begins at 2 p.m., is sponsored by State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Lock Haven.
Hanna said a PennDOT representative will be available to answer any questions citizens might have about how to obtain a state photo identification card, and Clinton County Director of Voter Registration Maria Boileau will be in attendance to answer questions about absentee and provisional ballots.
What PA Voters Need to Know About Voter ID:
** Note that all of the Information we have been able to discover comes from the PA Democrats and the Obama campaign.
4:37 AM PT: SCRANTON - The Northeast Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters of Lackawanna County and the political science department of the University of Scranton will sponsor a Voter ID Forum on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Pearn Auditorium in Brennan Hall at the university.
4:38 AM PT: VOTER ID COALITION HOTLINE: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)
Answered Live Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
5:06 AM PT: I rarely post diaries here. I often post one per year. So I apologize if my tags are not done correctly.
Also I want to add a mini rant...Governor Corbett is willing to spend millions to implement this Voter ID law. Yet , he says the Commonwealth of PA is broke and we cannot afford all these teachers, we must close schools and lay off teachers and increase class size. He has made severe cuts to public education across the board. Yet he says there is Plenty of Money for this Voter ID law to be implemented. He is disgusting! He wants to privatize most State Universities and Public Schools!
7:58 AM PT: The Washington Post recounted a story of one longtime voter who waited four hours just to get her voter ID. It’s not uncommon for voters to wait for hours and then be told by a PennDOT worker that they have to pay $13.50 for what is supposed to be a free ID or that the don’t have the right documentation. Despite the availability of the new “safety net” ID, “‘people are being turned away,” said Marian Schneider of the Advancement Project.
Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 7:55 PM PT: Our local DMV admits they have had little training in this Photo ID for Voting and they get so many questions they cannot answer. PennDot in Harrisburg is also confused and cannot answer some questions. The only real help and people working on this and educating and assisting photos with Photo ID is OFA and the Obama campaign in each county.
Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 7:57 PM PT: Front Page diary about this by Meteor Blades is about the PA Voter ID Law and talks about the groups it disenfranchises.