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Busting the Myths Behind Voter ID

Do you want to know the reality behind the Voter ID law?

As anyone who reads my blog knows, I don't think very much of the PA Voter ID law, because it doesn't stop fraud, only voting. I do think you should have ID to REGISTER to vote. I started working the polls over 25 years ago and still am an inspector of elections who has sworn each election to keep them free and fair and that is exactly what I have done. NO one is more against election fraud than I, but I also fight for no one legally registered to vote to be disenfranchised.

The arguments for PA's law is based on rhetoric and not logic or facts.  I know, how dare I bring those two things into the conversation.

For your reading amusement, I would like to highlight some of the more popular talking points for voter ID and give you my take on them, based on the PA law and how the election process actually works here.

1. Illegal Aliens are voting.  Just how would they do that?  If they just went to the polling place, with all those officials around, (you know a place were someone who is trying to stay under the radar would go) and tried to vote, their name would not be in the voter poll book so we would call the county with their name and address, (like they would stay around for that) and check their registration. They wouldn't be there so they don't get to vote.

2. Illegal voter registrations. The PA law doesn't address that, but you do at least need the last 4 digits of your social security number on the registration form which is checked with the social security administration. 

3. Zombie Apocalypse voters or dead people voting. Birth dates are in the voter poll book so no one 40 is going to come in impersonating a person 90. That person would also have to be a clairvoyant forger because the signature would have to match the signature in the voter poll book. Signature doesn't match, you are asked for ID, no ID you fill in a provisional ballot, if you insist.

4. More votes than registered voters in a district.  You can't vote if your name is not in the voter poll book. If it is not there, and you say it should be,  we call the county and find out were you are registered to vote. If they say you should vote here you vote. If they say you are not registered you do not vote. If they say you should be voting in another district, you will be given directions. If you still insist you should be voting there, you get a provisional ballot which will only be counted if you can prove that you should be voting here. 

5. Everyone should have ID. I always find this one amusing because these are the same people who don't want too much government and are against a national ID card. Do you know that more than half of the IDs valid for voting in PA were non-existent when the law was passed and that's why so many people don't have ID to vote? Veterans' Photo IDs don't have expiration dates, 97 of the 110 PA Colleges and Universities didn't have expiration dates, PA care facility IDs didn't have expiration dates, and my favorite, PA state employee ID cards don't have expiration dates. This is why the PA supreme court justices judicial ID cards that would open many doors, is not good enough to use for voting. 

6. Voting multiple times. Since you do not need a current address on your ID, the PA law will not stop that. 

Do you know that usually when the PA assembly passes a law that another agency would have to oversee there is a 1 -2 year waiting period to get out all the bugs? The Dept. of State didn't even start addressing this until the end of July with a letter that did NOT tell the people on the no match list they were on the no match list. Yes you read that right. They have changed the parameters for getting ID NINE (9) times, leaving everyone, especially staff at PennDOT locations totally confused. And that's only the beginning. I really really know this subject and if you would like to learn more, post a comment. 

If you really care about free and fair elections, don't post your drivel in the comment section, get off your tush and help at the polls. Don't disenfranchise people who have been legally voting for years. You can also sign and share my petition to postpone the voter ID law so the 1/2 million legally registered voters in PA who are at risk for losing their right to vote this November, don't. http://signon.org/sign/postpone-pa-voter-id

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

ted.dobracki October 02, 2012 at 02:55 PM
It seems that Judge Simpson has issued an injunction that stops voter disenfranchisement due to lack of ID for this election only, but still requires poll officials to ask for the ID during this election.
Anonymous October 02, 2012 at 03:48 PM
What I am about to say is a hunch. I realize there is no way to know this for 100% certain. I believe that the Democrats feel that the majority of their own people are simply not organized enough to know where their ID is or to go about getting one. The Democrats are worried about the welfare recipients who are not even looking for work because they enjoy the lifestyle of living off those who work. The also need the young voters because they are the ones who have not worked long enough to realize that it is ok for people who work hard and take risks to have something to show for it. Socialism does not work. The early Americans tried it and it failed. So, yes we can argue about the fairness etc and the validity, but deep down who are the Democrats worried about not getting to vote? Why aren't the Republicans equally worried? Maybe they are....but obviously most believe this law would hurt the Democrats. Why is that?
Adrian Seltzer October 03, 2012 at 02:15 AM
The provisional ballot question. If they couldn't provide ID at the time of the election, because 1.they didn't have it or 2. were indigent. Once you have cast a provisional ballot, for it to count you have to provide ID to the county or sign an affidavit that you are indigent. The affidavit you have quoted is not that affidavit. The one you have is the one you file with other forms to get either the PennDOT photo ID for free or the DOS ID for free. I know it is confusing, Yes we will still have to ask for ID, just like we did in April, but everyone registered to vote in our poll book, whose signature matches (or they have to show ID) will get to vote
Adrian Seltzer October 03, 2012 at 02:26 AM
I got into this issue when the law was still a bill. I thought it was a bad idea because, knowing how the electoral process works in PA, I thought what they were presenting didn't do anything to fight potential fraud and I emailed, called or facebooked EVERY representative and senator in the assembly. They didn't listen. During the soft roll out in April, a senior, who votes in our district every election for as long as I can remember says to me "this will be my last time voting. I tried to get ID and they didn't do it at the PennDOT center closest to us and I can't get to the other center, she could sit in the car that long." That republican was the person that got me started on this quest. It is an issue of disenfranchising legitimate voters for me and I really resent the fact that everyone ass-u-me-s that you have to be liberal or a socialist to feel strongly about this issue. As an inspector of elections, I am pissed that voter turnout is what it is and a law to lower that obscenely low number was something I am not going to take laying down. That's were my passion on this issue comes from.
Adrian Seltzer October 03, 2012 at 02:36 AM
That must be one heck of a lifestyle on a couple of hundred bucks a month. Why is it so great when the mega rich and corporations park their money offshore and take every loophole they can to pay little or no taxes. Praise is heaped upon them, but if someone gets food stamps because they don't make a living wage they are vilified. I will say I think there should be a level playing field and all income taxed the same. I believe food stamps and the earned income tax credit are subsidies for business so they don't have to pay their employees a living wage. Just step back a second and let that sink in. Don't react too quickly, think outside the box we've been put in. Who benefits and who pays. It's follow the money every time.

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