Skip to main content

The GOP has doubled down on their efforts to keep the PA Voter ID law from being struck down on the basis of availability:

http://blogs.mcall.com/...

Here's the big takeaway from this morning's Commonwealth Court session on Pennsyvlania's voter identification law: The Department of State and PennDOT have eased the requirements to get a voter-only photo identification card.

And instead of serving as the "last resort" for ID, it will now be among the first options offered to those seeking photo ID to vote in November.

To obtain a card, a person only has to show up at a PennDOT motor license center, give their name, date of birth and Social Security number.

The state is no longer requiring proof of residency. Once the person is confirmed as a registered voter, the ID will be issued, PennDOT Deputy Secretary Kurt Myers testified this morning.

In a statement e-mailed to reporters, Secretary of State Carol Aichele said the new rules, which went into effect this morning statewide, will meet a Supreme Court ruling that identification cards be "liberally accessible" to those who need them.

Myers was the first witness in what was expected to be two days' worth of testimony before Judge Robert E. Simpson, who's been charged by the high court with determining whether the state is getting proper ID into the hands of those who need them and if voters are being disenfranchised. The high court's action comes in response to its ruling on a request to keep the law from going into effect with the Nov. 6 election.

In nearly two hours on the stand, Myers acknowledged that there had been problems with implementing the photo ID program, but said once those problems had been discovered, the agency worked quickly to address them.
David Gersch, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs in the case, peppered Myers with questions about waiting times at PennDOT motor licensing centers, at one point asking the bureaucrat if he was familiar with reports that people in the Philadelphia area had been made to wait an hour or more to obtain ID.

Myers said the Philadelphia region offices tend to be among the agency's busiest and that PennDOT reps try to service customers in "30 minutes or less." To accommodate demand for cards, the agency has extended its operating hours, he added.

And in instances where a person's voter registration could not be verified, customers were given a paper voter registration form to fill out. Once that registration was completed with the Department of State, the ID is then mailed to them, Myers said.

Another fact: Since March, the state has issued 21 refurnds to people who paid for ID cards when they should have gotten them for free, Myers testified.

Although it was pretty dry stuff, there were some moments of levity, For instance, when Myers' testimony prompted one lawyer to yawn, Simpson jokingly chided him: "You can't be yawning," he said to laughs from the audience and bar alike. "This is as interesting for me as it is for you."

Court resumes at 1:30 p.m. Simpson has barred electronic devices and Tweeting from the courtroom. We'll update again as soon as we're able to do so.

Tags

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
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

  •  Voter ID Jar (16+ / 0-)

    There's smart, and there's K-mart smart. Sarah Palin is K-mart smart.

    by InsultComicDog on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 10:02:33 AM PDT

    •  It's getting to the point that not only is voter (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InsultComicDog, Wee Mama, Lujane

      fraud non-existent, but the law to stop it is as they drop more and more requirements for an ID.  So the law is meaningless not only because there is no problem to solve, but also because there is no solution.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 10:21:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  keep us informed please (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InsultComicDog, CuriousBoston, Lujane

      this easement is purely political and could be changed back to the stricter requirements at whim.  In addition, it doesn't help those who do not have transportation or the disabled who are bed ridden and vote by absentee.  It must be stuck down

  •  I dont mind the voter ID law (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanesnana, CuriousBoston, Lujane

    But this close to the election, and the fact that only the GOP is pushing it makes me annoyed - extremely pissed off.

    By the next election the playing field will be level and most folks will have it.

    Meanwhile for this election, ways have to be found to keep those legit voters on the rolls and able to vote even if they dont have state issue ID.

  •  Damn. (4+ / 0-)

    This may be enough.  Except the pesky part of seniors getting out of their nursing homes to stand in line at PennDot.  And the working people who cannot go when PennDot is open.  

    But this may be enough.......

    Thoughts?

    •  And I'm also wondering (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CuriousBoston, Lujane

      about the provisional ballot bit, which says that those without valid ID have 6 days with which to present one. One problem with that is that the last two days of those 6 days are Sunday and Veteran's Day.

      There's smart, and there's K-mart smart. Sarah Palin is K-mart smart.

      by InsultComicDog on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 11:04:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Papers Please. (here we go again) /nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InsultComicDog, Lujane

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 10:31:30 AM PDT

  •  This is a farce (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InsultComicDog, Lujane

    So they changed the process at the last minute right before the trial and they expect now for that to be accepted as doing enough?

    Again, what is the rush other than to effect the outcome of the current election.    I fear this judge will rule again with the state of PA and we'll be back to the PA Supreme Court.

    The sad part is that a certain amount of voter suppression has already occurred as all of this confusion has certainly dissuaded some people not to bother voting this year.

  •  If this persuades Simpson (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InsultComicDog, Lujane

    that PA can get ID into the hands of everyone who needs it in time for the election, then so be it. He won't issue an injunction and this will again go back to the Supreme Court.  I sincerely doubt he'll buy it this time, but he could.

    Should that happen, I think the high court is very ready to issue the injunction themselves. They'd just prefer not to, if Simpson will do it for them.

    Thing is, if it goes back to the Supremes, it will be late into October before the injunction goes out. And Dems will have spent the entire run-up to Election Day trying to get IDs for those who need them instead of focusing 100% on GOTV.

    THAT'S the real problem, and it's not one that can be solved. Until VoterID is ruled out, we have to treat it as if it will be in effect on Nov. 6.

    •  OTOH (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, Montco PA Dem

      Voter ID itself is an issue. If you had to waste several hours dealing with PennDOT, would you be inclined to vote for someone who put you in that position to begin with?

      There's smart, and there's K-mart smart. Sarah Palin is K-mart smart.

      by InsultComicDog on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 10:46:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And even further (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InsultComicDog

        if Voter ID is still on the table come Nov. 6, I see no signs whatsoever that Repubs are doing anything at all to get IDs for their affected voters. It's as if they've totally bought into their own bullshit and believe that only Democrats will be impacted.

        Nothing could be further from the truth.

        While it's true that in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, the ID issue hits much, much harder at Democratic voters, in the rest of the state there will likely be just as many registered Republicans who lack the proper credentials. And while Repub ground forces may be doing something quietly to help these folks out, they certainly don't seem to be working nearly as hard or as diligently as Democrats. And they may end up regretting that next month.

  •  The judge should have a sense of humor... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane

    If I was that judge, I would tell them, Ok you can have your voter ID law....it goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

    Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand. Buy ALDUS SHRUGGED on amazon, and ALL royalties will be donated directly to barackobama.com HELP ME TO HELP THE BIG O!!! And follow the fun: @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 11:01:56 AM PDT

    •  Except he's in the pocket of the GOP (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane

      as far as I can tell

      There's smart, and there's K-mart smart. Sarah Palin is K-mart smart.

      by InsultComicDog on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 11:02:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know...it sure seems like it... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InsultComicDog, Lujane

        Wow, I grew up in PA.  Philly suburbs, actually.  So to me, PA was Philly.  I moved to NYC and I couldn't take the talk about backwards politics and backwards thinking I would hear about PA from people in new york city.  But wow, I know where it comes from now!

        Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand. Buy ALDUS SHRUGGED on amazon, and ALL royalties will be donated directly to barackobama.com HELP ME TO HELP THE BIG O!!! And follow the fun: @floydbluealdus1

        by Floyd Blue on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 11:09:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  still here in the Philly burbs (0+ / 0-)

          which are bluer than ever.

          There's smart, and there's K-mart smart. Sarah Palin is K-mart smart.

          by InsultComicDog on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 11:22:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that is nice to hear! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            InsultComicDog

            I'm from Willow Grove.

            Where you livin'?

            (by the way, I am still an expert at nailing those philly accents. I still have vestiges of mine, and I can spot them from miles away (altho I can't tell south jersey from baltimore or philly).

            Oh, and I am no traitor.  I am still a fan of all philly sports teams, especially eagles and phillies.  (I cannot stand any NY sports team....it was pure hell up here when the gints won the super bowl).

            Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand. Buy ALDUS SHRUGGED on amazon, and ALL royalties will be donated directly to barackobama.com HELP ME TO HELP THE BIG O!!! And follow the fun: @floydbluealdus1

            by Floyd Blue on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 11:42:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Sounds like a waste of money to me (0+ / 0-)

    A lot of paperwork for no reason?

    Wastes not only people's time and money but government's.

    The GOP--party of fiscal responsibility and smaller government indeed.

    Ryan lies; seniors die.

    by NCJan on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 11:02:53 AM PDT

    •  It comes out of the same mentality (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dagolfnut

      as the "UnskewedPolls" nonsense. All of their friends are angry white guys voting for Romney, therefore it does not compute with them that Obama might possibly win an election by any mechanism other than cheating.

      There's smart, and there's K-mart smart. Sarah Palin is K-mart smart.

      by InsultComicDog on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 11:21:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site