Pennsylvania Commonwealth Judge Robert Simpson ruled on August 15 that a law requiring voters to present identification at the polls could be implemented on Election Day. This came despite objections from some sectors that had argued that the law had not met the burden of proof that it did not violate the state constitution. Judge Simpson said that voters who currently have not identification still have time to obtain it. The state is providing identification free of charge to those who need it.
Those objecting to the law, which was passed by the Pennsylvania legislature, claimed that it was an attempt by Republicans to derail President Obama’s chances of carrying the Keystone State this fall. They claimed that possibly thousands of citizens could effectively be disenfranchised because of the voter I.D. law.
Judge Simpson’s finding said, “Petitioners did not establish . . . that disenfranchisement was immediate or inevitable,” adding, “I was convinced that Act 18 will be implemented by Commonwealth agencies in a nonpartisan, evenhanded manner.” The 70-page opinion written by the veteran judge makes it likely that Pennsylvanians will be required to show specific forms of photo ID. Other states already require photo identification at the polls. Michigan, for example, requires I.D. but also allows voters to sign an affidavit in lieu of identification. The Pennsylvania decision will be appealed to the state’s supreme court. Since one of the high court’s members is currently suspended, there are now six members on the bench. A tie vote would uphold Judge Simpson’s finding. The bench is currently divided equally between Democrats and Republicans.
Speaking to the issue is John Mancino, a political activist and former campaign director in California. Mancino said that the nationwide efforts to forego voter identification at the polls are part of a scheme by the Democratic party to assure electoral victories this fall and thereafter. He noted that Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, has filed lawsuits against several states and argued that voter I.D. effectively restrict voter rights. Said Mancino, “I find that ironic, since that same attorney general, in order to visit him, requires that you present a photo I.D. to get in the door.” The California man also noted that at a recent book-signing featuring Michelle Obama, customers were required not only to show photo I.D. but to also purchase her book in order to speak with the First Lady and get her signature.
Mancino, in an exclusive interview with Speroforum (YouTube), spoke to instances in California where enforcement of a photo I.D. law for the polls would serve to prevent voter fraud. He recalled in just one voting district of the Golden State, over 50 people were registered to vote in just one household. Complaints to the local registrar were met with indifference, said Mancino.