To all my dear friends and family who live in Pennsylvania, I really really hope you are paying attention to what is going on with voter laws in your state. Pennsylvania has always been an important swing state and you will most likely have a great effect on the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election.
See here’s why I am concerned. Pennsylvania’s Governor rubber stamped a bill regarding Voter ID’s that was sent to him by a Republican consulting non-profit group that drafts model legislation. Once it was passed it was immediately challenged in court, because, well to be blunt, it sucked balls because it disenfranchised 1.3 million voters, most of whom live in the Philadelphia area. There’s only 8 million voters in the entire state!!!! And I wonder who those Philly residents are more likely to vote for….hmmmmmm. Anyway, so PA changed it slightly just to make things even more complicated and passed it again.
Then the state had to educate people on the changes in the law before the election in November. So Gov. Corbett hired a Romney campaign fund raiser and GOP operative to appear in two web videos for which the “consultant” was paid $200,000. I guess they thought they’d done their due diligence. Consider those 1.3 urban disenfranchised voters forewarned and forearmed now, eh? /snark
Well the ACLU filed a second suit and the trial is so far a disaster for the Governor and his cronies. Read the excerpt below describing just some of the testimony by the very first state’s witness, Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele.
With less than 100 days remaining before the election, Aichele’s response to many questions was to plead ignorance. In fact, when Gersh pointed out that PennDOT offices in many Pennsylvania counties are open only once a week – leaving a mere 13 business days for voters in those counties to obtain ID – Aichele expressed ignorance to the amount of time remaining. Asked about the lack of a documented plan for the Department of State to educate voters, Aichele stated that the court did not have such a document because “there is no document.” Asked about reports that PennDOT is requiring people to pay for IDs that are supposed to be free, Aichele said she has heard such reports, but has not verified them. She testified that while other staffers at the Department of State are coordinating with PennDOT, she herself is not working directly with the agency. She was unaware of PennDOT’s predicted August 26 roll-out of the new Department of State ID – and when Gersh pointed out that a voter holding an expired driver’s license is ineligible for a free ID, even if he or she is indigent, Aichele said it was the “first time she’d thought about that,” and thanked Gersh for bringing it to her attention.
You might notice by reading that quote, that PA officials aren’t even trying to justify what they have done, they’re not trying to ensure the election is fair, hell they’re not even trying to pretend to be humble and respectful to the rule of law. They are just doing whatever the hell they want and expecting to get away with it. And in this case, it means stealing the PA electoral votes for Mitt “My wife spends more on her horse’s hair ribbons than you did for your graduate degree” Romney. One big problem though, the PA Supreme Court will most likely tie on the case and the lowest court’s ruling will allow the law to stand–i.e., no injunction to stop this horrible law.
The only ray of sunshine in all this is that some poll workers and county election officials are already talking about ignoring the new law. I can’t encourage you enough…if this story pisses you off, pick up the phone and call your state representatives and senators, the governor’s office, the Secretary of the Commonwealth and your county’s election supervisor. Make your voice be heard.
I don’t mind losing a fair election, but a fixed one? No, that I won’t accept and neither should you.