PA Democrats Ridicule GOP Majority Leader Over Voter ID Remarks
As we noted yesterday, in his comments to a GOP committee meeting, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai let slip the real reason for Republican-sponsored Voter ID laws; his exact quote:
“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
Turzai’s statements have gotten him headlines across the country, because Republicans normally try to maintain the fiction that Voter ID laws are needed to prevent voter fraud (which is almost nonexistent in reality), and deny the true political reason — to tilt elections to Republicans, because those most affected by Voter ID laws (in particular, minorities and the poor) are more likely to vote Democratic.
Today Pennsylvania Democrats, unsurprisingly, are capitalizing on Turzai’s remarks: PA Democrats Ridicule Turzai, GOP Over Voter ID; Say ‘Your Ideas Suck’.
The press conference, organized by State Sen. Daylin Leach, began with background on Turzai’s statements, which the Majority Leader’s spokesman Stephen Miskin say are being taken out of context for political gain.
“He was simply referencing, for the first time in a long while, the Republican Presidential candidate will be on a more even keel thanks to Voter ID…Anyone looking further into it has their own agenda,” said Miskin, who also noted, according to CBS, the “Republican candidate – presidential candidate – is going to have a fairer playing field.”
Leach said that explanation does “not pass the laugh test.” He noted voter fraud is virtually nonexistent in Pennsylvania and the United States and ended his opening statements with this burn: “If you have to stop people voting to win elections, your ideas suck.”
During debate on the issue in March, Leach noted Americans are more likely to be hit by lightning than misrepresent themselves at the polls. …
As we’ve written in the past, Republicans have been pushing Voter ID bills in several states since 2010. Governor Tom Corbett has noted the bill “does not interfere with anyone’s legal right to vote.” Although, that seems to have been said mistakenly, which is why the ACLU is currently pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of several plaintiffs, including Germantown resident Viviette Applewhite, who will not be able to vote in November. Additionally, the law makes it tougher on a lot of us—but mostly women, the elderly, students, minorities and the homeless. Local groups like the Committee of Seventy have worked on providing the public with Voter ID education. And local activist Faye Anderson has released a Voter ID web application to give those confused about the law some answers. The Obama Administration has a web-based voter assistance program, as well. …
Other than partisan bickering, the biggest piece of news to come out of the presser was Leach’s suggestion that Rep. Turzai’s comments will likely be used in the Voter ID litigation as it’s challenged in court. The comment, he said, “shows this was…intended to disenfranchise voters who don’t vote the right way”—and not to stop voter fraud, as Republicans in the House and Senate claimed during debate and thereafter.