Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Only Path To Victory

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. yesterday denied the effort by plaintiffs to block Pennsylvania from implementing its voter suppression identification law, implausibly claiming a requirement that displaying identification at the polls is a "reasonable, non-discriminatory, non-severe burden when viewed in the broader context of the widespread use of photo ID in daily life."

Gosh- I forgot about the national ID card in widespread use in daily life.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett (R-Fracking) and Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele believe the requirement is reasonable and the burden acceptable.   They are, however, apparently far less aware of the burden than is Judge Simpson.    Aichele admitted during the trial- during the trial- "I don't know what the law says."  Corbett maintained early this month that, aside from student identification, "It can be military ID.   There's two or three other forms, right now off the top of my head I don't have it here in front of me."

The most important supporter of the legislation, as well as the official charged with implementing it, don't know what forms of identification are acceptable, perhaps not even that military ID without an expiration date is unacceptable.  But the Commonwealth's lawyers did stipulate 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."  No cases of voter fraud, and that's good enough for the guys and gals determined to suppress the Democratic vote.

That couldn't be clearer.   The lead plaintiff in the suit, 93-year-old Viviette Applewhite, lacks what Pennsylvania's GOP power structure considers proper ID because her important documents were in her pocketbook stolen a few years ago.    Therefore, as Jessica Parker writes in The Philadelphia Inquirer, "she tried for years to get a new birth certificate, lawyers helped her obtain one in May. But she hasn't been able to replace her Social Security card because it uses the name Applewhite while her birth certificate lists her father's surname, Brooks."

But, Parks continues

Even if Applewhite gets a new Social Security card by November, she will also need to show two proofs of residency. She has one - the lease agreement for her apartment. But the utility bills are in her daughter's name, and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials have rejected all of the other documents she has bearing her name and address - welfare statements, voter registration cards, bank files, Medicare paperwork, a letter from the mayor, and a birthday card from President Obama.

Applewhite, unfortunately, well represents the Gas and Oil Party's target audience.    It's not surprising that her welfare statements and Medicare paperwork are unacceptable, given that they suggest she is poor and elderly.   Applewhite also is black, which isn't helpful, especially with a guy named Obama on the ballot.

Nothing to see here, citizens, just move along.    A presidential election stolen in Florida, one stolen four years later in Ohio, then perhaps eight years later in Pennsylvania.   You'd almost think it was a pattern.

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