September 19, 2012

From That VoterID Ruling

The OPJ's already done the important blogging on this but I wanted to point out something I found that I think is important.

From the ruling:
The Voter ID Law was signed into law by the Governor of Pennsylvania in March of this year. For the General Election this November, and for succeeding elections, the legislation generally requires presentation of a photo identification card as a prerequisite to the casting of ballots by most registered voters.

In this regard, the Law contemplates that the primary form of photo identification to be used by voters is a Department of Transportation (PennDOT) driver’s license or the non-driver equivalent provided under Section 1510(b) of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S. § 1510(b).
The ruling quotes the VoterID law, regarding that "non-driver equivalent", that the PennDOT will issue the ID at no cost:
to any registered elector who has made application therefor and has included with the completed application a statement signed by the elector declaring under oath or affirmation that the elector does not possess proof of identification...and requires proof of identification for voting purposes.
So I guess this means all you would need is to state under oath that you don't have the proper papers and you can still get an equivalent.

And that, I take it, is the problem:
However, as implementation of the Law has proceeded, PennDOT – apparently for good reason – has refused to allow such liberal access. Instead, the Department continues to vet applicants for Section 1510(b) cards through an identification process that Commonwealth officials appear to acknowledge is a rigorous one. See N.T. at 690, 994. Generally, the process requires the applicant to present a birth certificate with a raised seal (or a document considered to be an equivalent), a social security card, and two forms of documentation showing current residency. See N.T. at 467, 690, 793.1 The reason why PennDOT will not implement the Law as written is that the Section 1510(b) driver’s license equivalent is a secure form of identification, which may be used, for example, to board commercial aircraft. See N.T. at 699-700, 728-30, 780.

The Department of State has realized, and the Commonwealth parties have candidly conceded, that the Law is not being implemented according to its terms. [emphasis added.]
So there's a conflict between the two laws.  And by the bureaucracy some actual citizens won't get to vote.

But that's OK as long as it guarantees a Romney victory in 2012!

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