Skip to main content

Pennsylvania court has 10 days to re-decide in voter-ID case: In hopeful sign, but a frustrating 4-2 decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the commonwealth court judge who upheld the state's restrictive voter-ID law should reconsider. Given the timing, the decision could mean the law will not be implemented this year.

The fundamental issue behind the court's ruling was that it could impose an onerous burden on citizens who don't yet have one of the permitted IDs to obtain one in time to cast a ballot. Four of the justices, three Republicans and one Democrat, voted to remand the case to the commonwealth court to review whether it would, in fact, be such a burden. The estimate of Pennsylvanians without the right ID runs from 100,000 to 1.6 million.

The court majority ruled:

[W]e are not satisfied with a mere predictive judgment based primarily on the assurances of government officials, even though we have no doubt they are proceeding in good faith.

Thus, we will return the matter to the Commonwealth Court to make a present assessment of the actual availability of the alternate identification cards on a developed record in light of the experience since the time the cards became available. In this regard, the court is to consider whether the procedures being used for deployment of the cards comport with the requirement of liberal access which the General Assembly attached to the issuance of PennDOT identification cards. If they do not, or if the Commonwealth Court is not still convinced in its predictive judgment that there will be no voter disenfranchisement arising out of the Commonwealth’s implementation of a voter identification requirement for purposes of the upcoming election, that court is obliged to enter a preliminary injunction.

But two Democrats on the court dissented. In essence, they said it's too late to be sending this back for review, and the supreme court itself should block the law for this coming election. Justice Debra Todd:
Seven weeks before an election, the voters are entitled to know the rules.

By remanding to the Commonwealth Court, at this late date, and at this most critical civic moment, in my view, this Court abdicates its duty to emphatically decide a legal controversy vitally important to the citizens of this Commonwealth. The eyes of the nation are upon us, and this Court has chosen to punt rather than to act. I will have no part of it.

The supreme court gave Commonwealth Court Judge Richard Simpson until Oct. 2 to complete his review. Hearings will begin Monday, Sept. 25.

So far, only about 10,000 citizens have obtained a non-driver's photo ID from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. It can take a long time in line to get one, as Cheryl Ann Moore discovered. A survey by SEIU found that nearly half those seeking an ID from PennDOT had to make two trips. One woman waited 10 1/2 hours with her 1-year-old son. As David Dayen reported, only some of the state's PennDOT offices issue the required non-driver IDs and 13 of those are only open once a week.

With tongue only partly in cheek, Marcy Wheeler said:

Of course, the underlying problem is that states have cut back on services to the point where Republicans can’t even disenfranchise people efficiently enough under the law.

This is not over yet—the judge in PA can still certify an inadequate DOT network hunky dory in PA.

But for the moment it appears Mitt’s disenfranchisement is being drowned in Grover Norquist’s bathtub.

The Independence Hall Tea Party has declared it will seek to defeat two of the supreme court justices when they come up for election in 2013 if the voter-ID law isn't in effect in this year's election. One justice is a Democrat, the other a Republican.

(Continue reading voter suppression news below the fold.)

In other voter news

  • Here is a not suitable for family viewing smackdown of overly restrictive voter-ID laws by Sarah Silverman:
  • Pennsylvania state legislator calls people with proper ID "lazy":

    Rep. Daryl Metcalfe told a local radio station:

    HOST: Are you absolutely convinced […] that the methods to implement this law are effective and will in fact make sure no legitimate voter will be disenfranchised?

    METCALFE: I don’t believe any legitimate voter that actually wants to exercise that right and takes on the according responsiblity that goes with that right to secure their photo ID will be disenfranchised. As Mitt Romney said, 47% of the people that are living off the public dole, living off their neighbors’ hard work, and we have a lot of people out there that are too lazy to get up and get out there and get the ID they need. If individuals are too lazy, the state can’t fix that.

  • Restrictive voting laws fire up Democratic organizers:
    Volunteers have poured into the headquarters of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party to make sure that the nation's most restrictive, Republican-passed voter-ID law does not keep eligible citizens from casting ballots this year.
    “It’s really lit a fire under a lot of people,” said Mark Nicastre, communications director for the state Democratic Party. “We’ve been very lucky to get probably three times the number of volunteers that we otherwise would have seen, and somewhere around six times the number of contributions.” [...]

    Conservatives say they are baffled that Democrats have gotten so riled up over a thing like photo I.D. “I really don’t understand it. It defies reality,” said Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. Indiana and Georgia had strict photo-ID laws in place in 2008 and yet saw record Democratic turnout, he pointed out.

  • Colleges work to ensure students have proper ID:
    After college IDs were added to the list of identity cards that would be allowed under a restrictive new mandated photo IDs to vote, it was discovered that most institutions of higher learning did not include one of the requirements on IDs they issued to students: an expiration date. Now, according to the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group, said 141 of 156 schools recently surveyed meet the law’s requirements or "are taking steps that will get them there by Election Day."
  • Florida loses bid to toss out challenge to federal court suit:
    A U.S. district court judge ruled Tuesday that two state residents and the Mi Familia Vota Education Fund could proceed with their lawsuit against Florida Gov. Rick Scott over his efforts to purge non-citizens from voter registration rolls. The legal change, the plaintiffs argue, falls under "pre-clearance" rules mandated by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That law requires 16 jurisdictions—whole states and counties within some states—to submit major changes in voting laws for review the U.S. Department of Justice because of past discriminatory practices under Jim Crow laws designed to keep African Americans from casting ballots.
  • Registration deadlines coming up:
    Today, Sept. 22, is the deadline for election officials to send ballots to military service personnel and civilians living overseas under the federal Uniformed Overseas Absentee Voting Act and the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act.

    —Oct. 2: This is the deadline for Judge Robert Simpson to conclude his revisiting of his decision upholding Pennsylvania's voter-ID law.

    —Oct. 6: This is the last date that voters in Mississippi and Nevada can register.

    —Oct. 9: This is the voter registration deadline in 13 states, including Colorado, Florida and Ohio, all battleground states in the presidential race.

    —Oct. 15: This is the registration deadline in Virginia, one of the most hotly contested states in the presidential race.

  • National Voter Registration Day is Monday, Sept. 25:
    The National Association of Secretaries of State has established September as National Voter Registration Month and set aside Sept. 25 as National Voter Registration Day. This was originally created by an ad hoc group that includes the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Education Fund, Bus Federation Civic Fund, Fair Elections Legal Network, League of Women Voters, Nonprofit Vote and Voto Latino.
  • States add on-line voter registration:
    California, Maryland and New York have set up on-line voter registration. An on-line system that had operated in a few counties in Nevada has now been extended to the rest of the state. Since the on-line option was added in New York last month, 9,716 citizens had registered there by Sept. 19. In California, the on-line registration takes about five minutes if you have a California driver's license or California identification card. If you don't, you must complete an on-line interview that takes another few minutes, print it and mail it by the Oct. 22 deadline. Information about voter registration for all states and D.C. can be found here.
  • Texas judge blocks purge of state voter rolls:
    On the grounds it may violate the Texas election code, state court Judge Tim Sulak issued a temporary injunction against Secretary of State Hope Andrade, a Republican, from ordering election officials to remove presumably dead voters from the rolls. The injunction was spurred by four voters who sued because they were told they would be removed from the rolls because officials considered them dead.

    Before the injunction was issued, Andrade reached a deal with Harris County voter registrar Don Sumners, who had refused to remove about 10,000 names from the voter rolls that Andrade had determined were deceased based on Social Security records. Sumners had found at least 300 names on the purge list who were alive and refused to remove anybody from the rolls as a result. Andrade agreed to restore funding that had been withheld over the dispute if Sumners would agree to remove names after families confirmed voter deaths.

    In one case, a pistol-packing investigator from the Texas attorney general's officer knocked on the door of a voter and informed her she was deceased. She got things straightened out, but:

    "The more I thought about it, the more I became angry because of the fact that I have always been a law-abiding citizen," she said. "I have always voted and for someone to come to my home from the criminal investigation division of the attorney general, it was like I had done something truly, truly wrong."
    She said she will, on the first day of early voting, show up to make sure she's on the rolls, alive.
  • Denver official sues over secretary of state's mailed ballot ban:
    Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson has sued Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler over a rule from his office that prohibits ballots from being mailed to inactive voters in city and school board elections. In papers filed with the court, Johnson says Gessler's move "infringes on Denver's status as a home rule city and county."
    We believe that the secretary of state is overstepping his authority by trying to control who gets ballots in local municipal elections, she said. "The Colorado Constitution and Denver City Charter make it clear municipal elections in the City and County of Denver are regulated at the local level and that the clerk and recorder has exclusive authority to conduct municipal elections.
    Johnson and Gessler are already embroiled in another lawsuit over a ban on mailing ballots to citizens who failed to vote in the last statewide election.
  • Bullets and ballots issue settled in Indiana:
    Indiana forbids local jurisdictions from setting their own more restrictive firearms rules. The law, passed in 2011, overrides local laws that prevent legal gun owners from carrying firearms into public spaces such as libraries, city halls and fire stations. Courthouses and schools can still bar firearms. But not polling places.

    The author of the law, State Sen. Jim Tomes, a Republican, was upset over local ordinances that allowed people to be turned away from the polls if they were carrying a firearm that was seen by pollworkers. The law did not, however, always work. When Clay Edinger, a retired Marine and Iraq War veteran, showed up at the polls in 2011 and tried to vote, he was turned away because he had holstered handgun in plain view.

    Tomes said, “Some people imagined that we were going to have people shooting up libraries and parks and that just hasn’t happened.” Asked whether he thinks the law should be amended to exclude polling places from state pre-emption, he said, “Absolutely not.”

  • True the Vote seeks to suppress the vote:
    Mariah Blake at The Atlantic tells the story of True the Vote, an organization that wants to pick up where the Republican National Committee left off 30 years ago after being "accused of violating the Voting Rights Act and ordered to cease its 'ballot security' efforts." Among them are the King Street Patriots, a tea party off-shoot in Houston that gathered the day before early voting began in 2010 and made its plans:
    The next day, King Street Patriots—many of them aging white suburbanites—poured into polling places in heavily black and Hispanic neighborhoods around Houston, looking for signs of voter fraud. Reports of problems at the polls soon began surfacing in the Harris County attorney’s office and on the local news. The focus of these reports was not fraud, however, but alleged voter intimidation. Among other things, poll observers were accused of hovering over voters, blocking lines of people who were trying to cast ballots, and, in the words of Assistant County Attorney Terry O’Rourke, “getting into election workers’ faces.”
  • Fourteen in Congress push law countering restrictive voter-ID mandates:
    Rep. Rick Larsen, a Washington Democrat, has introduced the “America Votes Act of 2012,” which he and other Democrats hope will counter the wave of new voter ID legislation passed by Republican-led legislatures across the country.

    The bill would allow voters to sign a sworn affidavit to prove their identity in lieu of providing government-issued photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport. The voter would then be able to cast a standard ballot and not a provisional ballot, the latter of which can be contested or thrown out for any number of procedural reasons under current voting ID laws

  • Ohio's Husted wants strict voter-ID law:
    In a leaked audiotape at a meeting with tea party members in Ohio, Secretary of State Jon Husted said:
    I was listening to a show one night about these onerous photo ID rules in Ohio. Well, the photo ID law in Ohio is not onerous. As a matter of fact, I suspect the GA [General Assembly] will take up a more strict version of what we have after this election process.
    He added that he expects the current system to streamlined to disallow many IDs currently allowed at the polls. The position Husted apparently is taking now contradicts his previous stance:
    “I would rather have no bill than one with a rigid photo identification provision that does little to protect against fraud and excludes legally registered voters’ ballots from counting.”
    That point of view, a break with the views of several leaders in his party, was one reason the legislators did not pass a voter-ID law in 2011.
  • Ohio panel says Republicans may have broken election law with false literature:
    The Ohio Elections Commission voted 4-0 Thursday to hold a full hearing Oct. 4 on whether the GOP violated the state's election law forbidding the use of lies to influence ballot issues. If Issue 2 on the ballot passes, it would establish a citizens redistricting commission. Republicans oppose the initiative and mailed out flyers stating that the commission members "will be chosen in secret." That is false.
  • Rick Hasen on his new book, The Voting Wars:
    Click on the title link for a 36-minute interview at the Brennan Center for Justice with Hasen, a nationally-recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation, co-author of a leading casebook on election law, UC-Irvine law professor and proprietor of Election Law Blog.
  • Report explains voting rights to people under foreclosure:
    The Fair Elections Legal Network has released a report “Lose Your Home, Keep Your Vote: How to Protect Voters Caught Up in Foreclosure.”
    The report highlights the confusion victims of foreclosure may face when determining how they can cast a ballot this November and lays out practical answers for election officials and voters on how to protect their right to vote. [...]

    This report, along with state guides for 15 states most impacted by the foreclosure crisis, provides clarity for those facing foreclosure and organizations that work with these voters.

  • Rev. Joseph Lowery Inspires Clark Atlanta Students to Fight Voter Suppression and Vote
  • The Unnecessary Back-and-Forth of the Voter ID Laws
  • Greg Palast: The progressive—and often controversial—journalist says he’s fighting to protect your vote.
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Rep. Daryl Metcalfe full throated support of (14+ / 0-)

    Romney's Screed That's a first pol I've heard doing that. Winger Pundits sure but not a pol. The Rest of the politicos have given nuance....

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:11:05 AM PDT

  •  Good News Everyone: I just voted! (25+ / 0-)

    As an ex-pat in the Netherlands, I received my Maryland Absentee Ballot via e-mail. printed it ou,t filled it out and mailed it out today via NLPost.

    Feeling good.

    "Reason is six-sevenths of treason," said one of his neighbors. "Intelligence is what the enemy uses," said another.

    by Misterpuff on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:11:11 AM PDT

    •  You deserve a button to pin on your sweater (3+ / 0-)

      (I assume you're already wearing sweaters in the Netherlands) that reads,
      "I voted in the U.S. election."

      Being in the Netherlands, you'll probably have to make your own button, but it could be a great conversation starter.

      Congratulations to you for being a conscientious voter!

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:45:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I live in Pennsylvania (22+ / 0-)

    Once again, this is THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS INJUSTICE in personal memory. The fact that the Rethugs systematically set out to burden the franchise of democrats and that they are succeeding. Look at what they have done: stolen the hours and days of predominantly poor democratic voters for the explicit purpose of suppressing their voices at the polls. Imagine if Democrats attempted to pass a law restricting the number of polling places so that people who lived in rural areas had to travel 2 hours to vote. This is worse, sucking entire days from people and hoping that they will not have the motivation to work through the process. I say it calls for a form of CIVIL DISOBEDIANCE. Like, how about poll workers unite and refuse to enforce the law. The 2012 version of a sit in. Send them to jail, Governor Corbett, let's see how that plays for you.

    It is morally wrong. It must not stand.

    The only thing required for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.

    by DavidMCastro on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:12:25 AM PDT

    •  And in the Phila. Inquirer today another instance (11+ / 0-)

      of add hoc voter reg. changes. This specific change helps, but it shows the bizarre changing rules.:
      A voter-ID mutiny launched by Democratic-controlled Montgomery and Allegheny Counties showed signs of spreading across the state Friday, as Philadelphia and a handful of other local governments said they, too, would consider issuing poll-ready identification cards through county-run nursing homes and colleges.

      Despite the bitter partisan debate surrounding the controversial Pennsylvania law, state Republicans voiced little opposition Friday to the counties' new plans.

      "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

      by TofG on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:17:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Beware the folks at True the Vote. (3+ / 0-)

        This tea-party organization has signed up volunteers for every battleground state to act as poll watchers and contest any vote cast by a person whose registration or ID is "questionable."  

        Even if these votes are allowed to be cast, in many instances they may end up being defined as "provisional" ballots, which means they are not likely to be counted.

        True the Vote is headquartered in Houston, TX, and has received 501(c)(4) money to provide transportation and poll watcher training for districts all over the country.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:53:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here's hoping this is an insurance policy (0+ / 0-)

      against suppression and disenfranchisement.  From 270toWin:

      Probability of Reaching 270  
       Democrats    94%
       Republicans    5%
      Neither (Tie)    < 1%

    •  And it's soooo blatant... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xsonogall, Laconic Lib

      They're not even hiding it.

    •  there should be a federal system (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to get everyone a voter id with the feds helping the states with money, start it right after this election and have it implemented for the next general in 2016, that gives every state four years to comply and the feds can make the system the same nationally so every id is verifiable no matter the state, that seems to make sense so presume the gopers will be against it, fascism over democracy don't you know is the gops creed.

      •  i'm not happy about the idea of everyone (0+ / 0-)

        having to carry government issued ID

        "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
        CALL EVERYONE YOU KNOW in OH, PA, FL, NC and TX. Make sure they have the ID they need to vote, and make sure YOU are registered and ready to vote!

        by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 06:42:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So by pulling PA advertizing is RomneyRyan (5+ / 0-)

    giving up on PA or are they expecting voter suppression to still be in place.

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:14:57 AM PDT

  •  Loophole in the PA Voter ID bill (11+ / 0-)

    It seems the law allows county-run senior care centers and community colleges to issue voter ID cards, but does NOT say it can only issue them to their own residents or students.

    So far, Allegheny and Montgomery Counties (i.e., Pittsburgh and some of the crucial Philadelphia suburbs) have said they will begin issuing IDs through such facilities.

    The fact that the state is still fine-tuning the ID requirements on a regular basis and that counties are finding loopholes, all just seven weeks before the election, should in itself amply demonstrate that the law is not ready to be put into effect.

    "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want & the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

    by DebtorsPrison on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:19:57 AM PDT

  •  The 4-2 Remand makes sense (3+ / 0-)

    The alternative appears to have been a 3-3 tie that allows the bad decision to stand. By remanding, and pointing out the clear weaknesses that the original judge obviously missed, there is a chance to let this be held up through this election cycle.

    I think that the mandatory picture ID law is fine as long as the state is required to find every qualified voter (whether registered or not today) and give them a picture ID.

    The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

    by freelunch on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:24:55 AM PDT

    •  If a voter's qualification rests on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DebtorsPrison, Meteor Blades

      submission of particular documentation, state offices should make the necessary documents available free of charge to the state's citizens, with a deadline far enough in advance of the registration deadline that the citizens have enough time to mail the documents and receive their voter cards in time to vote absentee, e.g., no later than 60 days before an election.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:59:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I want everyone to vote (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I see no reason to forbid anyone.

        On local votes, at least, everyone who lives there should be allowed to vote, citizen or not.

        On state, pretty much the same.

        On federal, I can see why we might not want non-citizens voting, but I wouldn't be offended if they were allowed to.

        No rational justification for keeping felons from voting.

        Racism seems to be the core of this anti-voting obsession by the GOP.

        The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

        by freelunch on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:48:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So as Stupid goes, Stupid Says.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As these Justices sit on their hands, this stupid law is thrown around and the Voters of Pennsylvania are left up the creek without a paddle (ID). Stupid, blast this law down and tell the jerks to get it right if they want this to proceed. Who do this guys think they represent, the state or the people....supposedly everyone. If the law is garbage...put it in the trash can.

    Are all Republicans crazy?

    by raster44 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:28:36 AM PDT

  •  My protest (0+ / 0-)

    might be to show up with all my ID, refuse to present it, get a provisional ballot and take care of it the next day. At least I'll get a written acknowledgment that I voted.

    •  Provisional ballots (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DebtorsPrison, TrueBlueMajority

      are oftentimes not counted unless the election is very close, and even then most states do not allow the election administrators to certify results until provisional ballot are cleared to be counted.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:01:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just wanted to say... (4+ / 0-)

    I frickin' love Sarah Silverman.  

  •  Voter registration deadline in TX (4+ / 0-)

    is Oct. 9th.

    Voter registration applications can be obtained at DOT offices, county election offices, many retail establishments, campaign offices of both parties, or can be requested by mail from the secretary of state's office.

    More information on registering to vote in Texas and Voter ID requirements are here.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:41:11 AM PDT

    •  Good reminder. And this: "Andrade reached a deal (0+ / 0-)

      with Harris County voter registrar Don Sumners, who had refused to remove about 10,000 names from the voter rolls that Andrade had determined were deceased based on Social Security records."

      The Dallas County Registrar, Toni Pippins-Poole, also refused to use the SSA-derived list of "dead voters" before November:

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

      by tom 47 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 09:34:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Regarding PA Disenfranchisement: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dclawyer06, DebtorsPrison

    The SC has already shown its skepticism of the State's assurances that it is set up to avoid disfranchisement. It has tasked the lower court to verify that the ID process will indeed go smoothly and guarantee people's right to vote. It then says this:

    ...if the Commonwealth Court is not still convinced in its predictive judgment that there will be no voter disenfranchisement arising out of the Commonwealth’s implementation of a voter identification requirement for purposes of the upcoming election, that court is obliged to enter a preliminary injunction.
    The ball has indeed been punted, but it is not a ball, it is a hot potato, and it's been flipped to the lower judge. That judge cannot take the risk of failing. It would be too public and potentially catastrophic to fail, especially in light of the SC's admonition.

    It is strictly now in his corner, and he would be a fool to take the risk. This decision is baked-in already.

    "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

    by chuco35 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:49:34 AM PDT

  •  I have a serious crush on Sarah Silverman! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dclawyer06, shaharazade

    Not only is her message great, but she is so cute when she says that the voter-ID laws are "fucked up"!

  •  Thanks, MB (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dclawyer06, TrueBlueMajority

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Onomastic on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:51:44 AM PDT

  •  I'm glad you posted that Sarah S piece... (0+ / 0-)

    I heard about it, but it slipped off my radar.

    Question, forgive me for asking here, but how do you report someone? I've been here for ages but don't think I ever have actually done it.

    Anyone know?

  •  The dissenters are right, but so's the majority. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DebtorsPrison, Meteor Blades

    This close to an election - with what is patently obvious disenfranchisement legislation - the thing should have been declared illegal on its face.

    However, a reasonable course is for the lower court to hold a brief and well-designed hearing to establish (1) that a substantial number of voters are likely to be disenfranchised and (2) the state has no practical way to get photo IDs to people who lack them in the time remaining. (Or for many months to come, for that matter.)

    Of course, the majority's timetable for rehearing practically guarantees there wasn't enough time left. But more important, the legislature provided no mechanisms at convenient locations, with weeknight and weekend hours, with expedited procedures in place, to care for the issuance of the IDs that the new PA voting law requires. And no funding for them. These should be conditions precedent to any legislation that can be used to suppress registration of qualified voters and ballot casting by them.

    Make it easy to vote - to exercise what is core to any democracy - not harder.
    Although Marcy Wheeler's comment - "[F]or the moment it appears Mitt’s disenfranchisement is being drowned in Grover Norquist’s bathtub" - is facetious funny perfect irony, that is precisely what a responsible trial court must find is a major barrier to voting rights ... and a responsible appellate court must recognize to declare voter suppression laws unconstitutional.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:56:31 AM PDT

  •  I found the Sarah Silverman video really offensive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Loved it. Immediately passed the iPad to my couchmate/spouse and engaged in mutual heterosexual  LOL.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:58:04 AM PDT

  •  SO glad to see Sarah! I've been waiting for her (0+ / 0-)

    to help with Florida again. The Supression is is a big bonus.

    Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

    by Catskill Julie on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:05:27 AM PDT

  •  Homer Simpson, still funny after all these years! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dclawyer06, The Nose

    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room." - President Merkin Muffley

    by Farkletoo on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:11:17 AM PDT

  •  Sarah Silverman calls it the real voter fraud. (3+ / 0-)

    I was surprised by all the objections when I did that in my diary about vote suppression. It's an effective way of framing the issue.

  •  sarah silverman (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catskill Julie, dclawyer06

    for secretary of explaining voter id bullshit mountain.

  •  Hooray for Sarah! Anyone know if it's ok to put (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the Youtube link on FB? It is very blue language.

    Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

    by Catskill Julie on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:29:15 AM PDT

  •  penn should make sure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the judges at all levels that supported this voter suppression law are defeated when up for election and those that were against the law should be reelected, take that tea bag and stick it where the sun don't shine.

    •  I thought I was being a wacko conspiracy theorist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A couple of days ago I commented on this diary: Blades 9-18

      Maybe there was a realization that a bare majority of the court would overturn the law.

           But by kicking it back to the lower court, it protects those conservative justices who would have voted to overturn from being branded as "traitors" of the conservative cause, as Justice Roberts was branded as a traitor for voting to uphold Obamacare.

           Better to let the lower court decide than to risk either recall or electoral defeat by the ravenous right-wing mob.

      and then in this diary:
      The Independence Hall Tea Party has declared it will seek to defeat two of the supreme court justices when they come up for election in 2013 if the voter-ID law isn't in effect in this year's election.
          I really hope that it does backfire on the Tea Party Thugs.  If the case does get back to the Penn Supreme Court, and the Justices have any spine, they will hopefully react to this threat with a UNANIMOUS vote to overturn.  

           And if the Tea Partiers go ahead with their threats to recall the judges, I also hope that there is serious push back in their defense, and a vigorous campaign to ensure they retain their seats.

          The one bright spot I see in all this systematic nationwide voter suppression is the local resistance.  Local election officials in Florida, Texas, and Ohio have refused to go along with this insanity, and sometimes the resistance has even come from BOTH Democrats AND REPUBLICANS who actually do believe that preserving the right to vote is more important than partisan ideology.  Now in Pennsylvania we're seeing efforts to turn community colleges and nursing homes into the last line of defense for the right to vote.  The Right Wing Thugs behind these voter-suppression efforts have shamed their states and their nation, and only the determined resistance of the citizens can wash that shame away.

  •  I took my mother to a CA DMV (0+ / 0-)

    office on Wednesday to get a state ID to replace her driver's license since she can no longer drive. I had made an appointment for her. We were there less than an hour; that included filling out the form, doing the thing at the window and getting her picture taken. The DL/ID application has a Voter Registration form attached. There is no fee for folks over 62.

    This was in L.A. Pennsylvania has just under 13,000,000 people. Los Angeles has almost 4,000,000.

    PA: you're doing it wrong!

  •  what i don't get is how... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    these courts allow the laws to go through while fully knowledgeable of the time constraints for people to obtain the required ID.  there shouldn't be any laws at all but if the court is going to allow it it should require a year minimum before enforcement, not just days before an election.  agencies have to ramp up.  people need time to get documents in order, etc.  that requires time.

    I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

    by blue drop on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 11:18:20 AM PDT

  •  Suppressed unless a Congressional Majority... (0+ / 0-)

    ...of DEMOCRATS and progressive indies is engineered by all of us Kossacks, state by state:

    Rick Larsen is my adored WA State representative.  The America Votes Act of 2012 deserves passage.

    Considering they've used most of MY lifetime to destroy the Constitution instead of doing the work of running this country whichis their job, let's DENY THE REPUBLICANS A MAJORITY IN EITHER HOUSE UNTIL 2052 and DENY THEM A PRESIDENT UNTIL 2044.

    by Adelante on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 08:29:41 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site