State Admits Voter ID Is A Law In Search Of A Crime


NPR: When Pennsylvania officials begin their defense of the state’s new voter identification law in court Wednesday, they will do so after agreeing to abandon a central argument for why such laws are needed. In a Pennsylvania court filing, the state says it has never investigated claims of in-person voter fraud and so won’t argue that such fraud has occurred in the past. As a result, the state says, it has no evidence that the crime has ever been committed. The state also says it won’t present “any evidence or argument” that in-person voter fraud is likely to occur on Election Day if the voter ID law isn’t enacted. More from the filing, which also was signed by the attorney for the plaintiffs, who are Pennsylvania residents suing to overturn the law: “There have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states…Respondents will not offer any evidence in this action that in-person voter fraud has in fact occurred in Pennsylvania or elsewhere.” MORE

BLOOMBERG NEWS: Other than the candidates, the most important person in the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign so far might be the billionaire Sheldon Adelson, or maybe one of the Koch brothers. But now it looks like it could be Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson. If he upholds a new Pennsylvania election law at the end of this month and the decision survives appeal, hundreds of thousands of voters, most of them Democrats, may be disenfranchised. That, in turn, could put Pennsylvania, once considered a blue state, into the Romney column and swing the election. The Pennsylvania story offers another example of the rank cynicism of those who favor democracy everywhere in the world except the U.S. After I wrote last month about the Republicans’ well- orchestrated efforts to suppress Democratic voting around the country, I received many critical e-mails saying that people are required to have photo ID to get into buildings, cash checks and perform other daily tasks, so why not require photo ID to vote? Fair enough, but what these critics don’t understand is that in states such as Pennsylvania, the kinds of photo ID valid for everyday tasks will no longer be good enough for voting. The goal of these laws isn’t matching names and faces to protect the integrity of the ballot box. The goal is to beat Democrats. MORE

TALKING POINTS MEMO: Pennsylvania has said that over 750,000 voters lack an adequate form of voter ID, a number greater than President Obama’s margin of victory in the state in 2008. One top Republican even said the voter ID law would help Mitt Romney win the state. As TPM reported, the public relations firm contracted to educate the public about the new voter ID law is stacked with Republicans. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Oompa Loompa-esque PA House Republican Majority Leader Mike Turzai Says Voter ID Law Will Supress The Minority Vote And ‘Allow Governor Romney To Win The State Of Pennsylvania