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How Will PA Spread Voter ID Word?

State Rep. Parker holds info session on new Voter ID Law.

Though not happy about the new state law that requires voters to bring IDs to the polls, state Rep. Cherelle Parker (D-200) is trying to be proactive.

The chair for the Philadelphia Delegation in the state House of Representatives hosted a community meeting last week to get the FAQs answered and educate city and suburban leaders so they can spread info on the law.

"After the law was passed, while we're not pleased at all with it... we're dealing with it and need to know how to get prepared," Parker said.

Held at Laborers' Local #332 Union Hall at 13th and Wallace Streets, the August 1 midday meeting brought together other state representatives, media members, nonprofit association employees and city government staff to learn directly from the Department of State, the agency tasked to spread information the hall that impacts the 2012 election.

How the Law Works

The meeting's main objective was to outline how information will be shared—Parker was particularly insistent that the media plan is important. In addition, state officials provided voter guides in several different languages.

In essence, the law requires all voters to present either a valid photo government ID, or other state-sanctioned forms of identification—like IDs issued by public or private colleges, long-term nursing homes, assisted living centers, or personal care homes. Additionally the state will accept PennDOT IDs without photos for those with religious objections to being photographed; a drivers' license less than a year passed expiration; or military/veteran IDs without expiration dates.

The state will offer free IDs from PennDOT to those without a drivers' license.

Click here to visit the state's website, VotesPA.com, or here to .

How Word Will Spread

Representing the Department of State, Megan Sweeney outlined the ways Pennsylvania will spread word of the law. Using $5 million in federal money from the Help America Vote Act, the commonwealth plans to educate the 5.8 million registered voters through a variety of ways.

"Our two main objectives are to get info out there about the law, (in that) you have to bring an ID. And also to help get people those IDs," she said.

Through a media campaign, mailings and utilization of commonwealth services, Sweeney said, the Department of State will share the message. The state plans to run radio, TV and newspaper ads throughout the fall leading up to the election.

Sweeney summarized the many channels her office will utilize to get the word out. In essence, it's any means necessary. Some awareness plans include:

  • Mailing postcards to all registered voters;
  • Advertising on transit systems;
  • Distributing info to all licensed PA care facilities;
  • Increasing Department of State staff to field phone calls/answer emails;
  • Reaching out to every college newspaper;
  • Sending mass emails to commonwealth employees, public school superintendents and university presidents;
  • Posting information on the crawl below all lottery television broadcasts;
  • Using the voter website, plus Facebook and Twitter accounts; and
  • Providing graphics for anyone who wants to directly link their website to VotesPA.com.

In addition, people can call 1-877-Votes-PA or read info here for detailed instructions on how to obtain an ID.

freeandequalpa August 10, 2012 at 12:26 AM
How would photo ID laws prevent snowbirds from voting in both New York and Florida? Many of the acceptable forms of ID (like a passport) do not contain your address, so these voters still would be able to vote in two places even if both states had a photo ID law.
freeandequalpa August 10, 2012 at 12:34 AM
"So until such time as they are declared "unconstitutional" they are in fact constitutional." The trial judge who enjoined the Wisconsin photo ID law held that the plaintiffs in that case were likely to prevail on their claim that the law was unconstitutional despite the Crawford case: "The defense submits that the court should be guided by the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Crawford . . . in which the court considered challenge to the Indiana voter ID law. The Crawford decision has very little application to the dispute now before this court, however, for three primary reasons. First, this case is founded upon the Wisconsin Constitution which expressly guarantees the right to vote while Crawford was based upon the U.S. Constitution which offers not such guarantee. Second, the Indiana law is less rigid that [the Wisconsin law], and as noted by the U.S. Supreme Court, offered alternative voting opportunities to voters who lacked the photo ID. Finally, the Crawford case came to the court based upon a flawed factual record lacking the substantial evidence that has been offered by the plaintiffs in this action." http://media.jsonline.com/documents/Voter+ID+injunction.pdf (p.9). Substitute "Pennsylvania" for "Wisconsin" and this easily could be a paragraph from Judge Simpson's upcoming opinion if he grants an injunction.
freeandequalpa August 10, 2012 at 12:35 AM
It would be extremely easy to perform an empirical study to determine if voter impersonation fraud was occurring: (1) check the poll books to see whether people who died before any given election signed in to vote; (2) contact a statistically significant number of voters who signed in to vote at any election and ask whether they in fact voted; and (3) check to see whether anyone who fraudulently registered to vote actually signed in to vote. The fact that the proponents of the law have not done this study (or, if they have, have not published the results) is telling.
freeandequalpa August 10, 2012 at 12:47 AM
None of the examples in this article would have been prevented by the photo ID law. For instance, the article refers to "one couple, the Middletons, who 'voted twice, once here and once in New Jersey, same election, registered twice, no problem.'” With the exception of a drivers license, NONE of the photo IDs acceptable to vote under the new law contain an address. So even with the law in place, the Middletons could have voted in both states with, say, a passport.
Mike Shortall Sr August 10, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Well, that's a HUGE if right now, particularly when trying to apply a decision in Wisconsin to a case in Pennsylvania. I'll hang my hat on the fact the USSC has ruled voter photo ID laws as constitutional and not an unreasonable burden or barrier to voting.
Mike Shortall Sr August 10, 2012 at 01:58 AM
I prefer to look at it like this ... We manipulate all kinds of systems and processes to make them MORE SECURE. Why exactly should voting, supposedly one of our most sacred rights, be any different?? All kinds of voter fraud has been committed, recognized as such, and dealt with when found. How could anyone pretend individual voting fraud hasn't been committed?!? Conduct a survey??? As if that would satisfy anyone ...
freeandequalpa August 10, 2012 at 02:42 AM
"the USSC has ruled voter photo ID laws as constitutional and not an unreasonable burden or barrier to voting" Your characterization of the holding in Crawford is much too sweeping. Here is what the Court actually said: "In sum, on the basis of the record that has been made in this litigation, we cannot conclude that the statute imposes 'excessively burdensome requirements' on any class of voters." http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=9378098557660608267&q=crawford+v.+marion&hl=en&as_sdt=2,39 Nowhere did the Court say, as you suggest, that all photo ID laws are constitutional and do not impose an undue burden. Rather, the Court held that the plaintiffs who challenged the law failed to create a sufficient factual record to justify their challenge to the law. So even if Judge Simpson concludes that Crawford governs the challenge to the PA Photo ID law (which, unlike the Crawford case, raises no issues of federal law), he will, according to express holding of Crawford, have to evaluate the factual record created by the voters who challenged the law during the hearing last week to see if they met their burden. I will not even try to predict what result he will reach when he does that analysis. But I am confident Judge Simpson understands that, under Crawford, he has to do the analysis.
freeandequalpa August 10, 2012 at 02:47 AM
"How could anyone pretend individual voting fraud hasn't been committed?!?" I'm not sure what you mean by "individual voting fraud" but if you meant to say in-person voter impersonation fraud, the Commonwealth admitted there is no evidence it happens: http://freeandequalpa.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/the-commonwealth-stipulation/ And how is flipping through a poll book to see whether dead people signed in to vote a "survey"? It would be a simple exercise. Prove that people are showing up at the polls on election day and impersonating dead people FIRST, and THEN spend my tax dollars on a law to fix the problem.
Morgan King August 10, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Sure, but we don't apply to vote, we simply come of age.
justwondering August 10, 2012 at 04:48 AM
What is it that you are so afraid of, Earnest? What? Examine your position on this issue and then reconsider. Are you afraid of Republicans? Because I am afraid of Democrats - very afraid that they stop at NOTHNG to remain in public office,,,,,,,,,but on this issue, stand firm.
Daniel Pipes August 10, 2012 at 11:56 AM
www.pewstates.org/ voter registration modernization The system is so messed up ID seems trivial even tho I'm for it.
Mike Shortall Sr August 10, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Sorry, freeandequal, but the following is pretty clear to me (despite that I may have gotten the wording wrong): "Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. concurred in the judgment of the court, but went further in rejecting the plaintiffs’ challenge. In an opinion by Justice Scalia, the three justices said, “The law should be upheld because its overall burden is minimal and justified.” "Indiana’s law allows voters who lack photo identification to cast a provisional ballot, then appear at their county courthouse within 10 days to show identification. Chief Justice Roberts, who grew up in Indiana, said during the argument of the case in January that such requirements are not onerous." http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/29/washington/28cnd-scotus.html So the real issues to me are this, a) Can opponents to the photo ID provision really come up with anybody who can prove the law - on its own merits - causes anyone to be disenfranchised when the requirements of the law "are not onerous", and b) Given that a similar law has been ruled "minimal AND justified", how do they get around the obvious fact that with a bit of persistence - and in light of Pennsylvania's repeated attempts to make the law's requirements more "voter friendly" - no one should have a problem meeting its requirements? Sounds like a loser of an argument to me.
Paul H August 10, 2012 at 03:56 PM
I did.
freeandequalpa August 10, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Mike: You are citing to the concurring opinion. The concurring opinion is NOT the holding of the case. Only 3 Justices, a minority of the Court, believed that the challenge to the Indiana law should fail for the reasons cited in the concurring opinion. In a concurring opinion the authors are basically saying: "We agree with the result, but for reasons different than or in addition to the reasons the majority gives." So, for instance, in the healthcare opinion, the four more liberal justices wrote a concurring opinion saying that the individual mandate was a valid exercise of Congress' Commerce Clause authority (in addition to a valid exercise of Congress' taxing authority). That concurring opinion is, most certainly, not the law of the case -- it only had 4 votes. As for whether the Petitioners, unlike the voters who challenged the Indiana law, can demonstrate that the law will substantially burden or disenfranchise them -- they put on 14 witnesses at the trial to make that case. The transcripts of the trial testimony are here: http://www.aclupa.org/legal/legaldocket/applewhiteetalvcommonwealt/trialtranscripts.htm. Again, I am not going to even try to predict whether the Judge will find the evidence relevant and/or sufficient. But you can read the transcripts and form your own opinion.
justwondering August 11, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Oh, Earnest - I, too am familiar with the Bill of Rights and our Constitution...what is your point? All we are asking is that ALL citizens be asked to provide identification to vote in elections - what the hell is so scary about that? I am not targeting anyone and you know it - the fear is that this law will favor Republicans - it should not have that effect - but it will offer the protection of knowing that voter fraud will not occur and whether you want to acknowledge it - the boogie man sometimes pops his head up - and we do not find out until years later......You are acting as if I am PREVENTING people from voting and I am not - nor is this law.
Tim Lewis August 11, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Earnest, such goofy language. What human, civil, or God-given right is being taken away? No one is taking away the right to vote.. Sounds more like you are the one with a phantom problem ....
Mike Shortall Sr August 11, 2012 at 08:28 PM
The Pennsylvania voter ID law is constitutional as is the similar law in Indiana in which the US Supreme Court ruled such laws constitutional by 6-3 vote. That makes it an even stronger ruling than the 5-4 squeaker the Affordable Care Act received. The Pennsylvania Courts should also rule it so. Thirteen states require photo ID or alternative. Thirty states have various ID-at-the-poll requirements.
Mike Shortall Sr August 11, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Funny how the Democrats will criticize Republicans as creating "boogeymen" stealing votes, while at the same time portraying Republicans as boogeymen coming to steal people's rights. BTW ... There are indications that suburban white voters will be affected just as much as urban residents will be. (http://articles.philly.com/2012-07-30/news/32942988_1_voter-id-laws-marion-county-election-board-voter-fraud)
John Q. Public August 11, 2012 at 09:45 PM
justwondering, anyone intent on fraud will likely still succeed. The ID law should deter casual fraud, but in precincts where fraud is acceptable, it will continue. However, I doubt it's a problem other than close elections; otherwise, why bother? I've no doubt it occurs, but since PA doesn't actively investigate, we will never know.
justwondering August 11, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Earnes - State mandated medical procedures??????? You have jumped out of the pool on this one. You seem to believe that there are dark forces at work here and I wish you well in your pursuit to uncover what you believe to be a government intent on destroying you..........
John Q. Public August 11, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Who cares about fraud. Lets hope there is a lot of fraud... Go Romney....we will win at any cost... ps lets run over any bl...... I mean dem..........t who is going towards a voting booth!!!!!! DOG bless America...
John Q. Public August 11, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Golden cockroach you can't stop us.. It's Paul Ryan....not Ron Paul.....hahahahahahaha hahahahahahaha hahah you lose!!!!!!!
Hammurabi August 11, 2012 at 11:13 PM
JQP - Ingnorance certainly is bliss in your case. I have personally seen voter fraud in PA and have litigated these cases. Tough to prove since the burden is relatively high and costly. But it does exist. You will only see such cases overturn an election if the stakes are high, the candidate has the resources and the vote differential is close. I direct your attention to the case of Marks v. Tartagliana in 1992-1994 time frame. Lots of "irregularities" in that case and Marks was awarded the seat after 2 plus years in court, only to give it up in the next election. I can recount several other personal experiences of fraud. It DOES exist.
John Q. Public August 11, 2012 at 11:23 PM
I want my dime back "hammispig" penny lawyer. get a job.
freeandequalpa August 12, 2012 at 12:48 AM
We are discussing the photo ID law. The only type of fraud the law possibly could prevent is in-person voter impersonation fraud. The Bruce Marks case involved ABSENTEE ballot fraud: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/02/19/us/vote-fraud-ruling-shifts-pennsylvania-senate.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm The photo ID law would not have prevented the fraud at issue in the Marks case. So, yes, there are documented examples of "voting fraud" (absentee voting fraud, registration fraud, poll worker fraud, etc.) out there, but there are no examples of in-person voter impersonation fraud, which is why the Commonwealth was forced to stipulate it had no such evidence: http://freeandequalpa.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/the-commonwealth-stipulation/ This article sums up the issue: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/08/repeat-after-me-person-person-person By the way, I would expect an expert in election law to actually know the name of the Marks lawsuit. Margaret Tartaglione (not "Tartagliana") was a defendant, but the case was Marks v. Stinson: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=19+F.3d+873+&hl=en&as_sdt=2,39&case=5071163011663898421&scilh=0
Lorbee August 18, 2012 at 09:14 PM
To Justwondering--what a nice post, but the minute I read it, I knew that you would get mindless replies, reminding you that "driving is a privilege and not a right" but not stick to the gist of your post. Of course, they didn't disappoint. You are correct in everything you said here, but unfortunately, Democrats will see flaw in your post. They continue to think that it's an overreach to expect someone to assume a little responsibility, in order to protect the right to vote (thinking that is still a right, not a privilege, as driving is). They continue to contend that the photo ID law is the brainchild of Republicans who demand things done on the up and up, how dare they. Having a fair and square election without concern that people's dogs, dead people, and illegals have voted is just a silly notion with no place in today's society. Yes, you are correct in your discernment and desire for all things being legal, but goodness, that may actually mean that a Republican might win the election. OH God forbid!!
Lorbee August 18, 2012 at 09:16 PM
at Justwondering-my reply to your original post above is proven, as I read the posted reply above, indicating "our Constitutional Rights are being violated by the Republican Party in PA." I rest my case. Those nasty Republicans, wanting things done without fraud! How dare they impose such restrictions!
Lorbee August 18, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Justwondering--I'm glad to see you, as opposed to Earnest, are clearly paying close attention. Earnest wants the Constitution and Bill of Rights free from violation. One side looks at this as a clear violation, simply by requiring you prove you are who you say you are, the other side contents their rights are being violated because unsavory people will use tactics to skew the results of an election. Both of these arguments must be weighed! Whose rights are really being violated? The person who insists on maintaining the integrity of our voting system or the person who refuses to recognize menacing at polling place, ballots not posted at polls examined before voting, unions & Acorn permitted to register and take persons to polls without proof of citizenship, or conducting registration drives w/o validation. The painful truth is that the desire for Democrats to win, no matter how they get there, necessitated the need to put a stop to these crooked tactics. Upholding the Constitution and Bill of Rights remains foremost in the minds of Conservatives.
justwondering August 18, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Lorbee - you just made it to my favorite list!!!! Well said.
Babs Ann September 25, 2012 at 12:56 AM
The voter ID issue has been in the spotlight for over a year. If there is anyone out there who has no clue, they shouldn't be voting anyway.. Don't cry foul if you don't have an ID, you have had a year to get one.

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