I am writing in response to the article in today's paper which indicates that in our county 1,830 registered voters may not have the required ID mandated by Pennsylvania's new Voter ID Law. The figure for the state is 758,939, including 18% of those registered in Philadelphia County.
PA Republicans are the authors of legislation that for the first time in our Commonwealth's history is specifically meant to decrease the number of the people who can vote. Our American heritage has always been a slow progression in the number of people who are enfranchised. At the time of the constitution's ratification, only white male land owners had the right to vote in most states. On June 23, 2012 the House Republican Leader, Rep. Mike Terzai, stated in a speech to Republican leaders that under his leadership the House has addressed Republican objectives like no other session. In this speech he identified the Voter ID as a law which will "allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania." This was reported and this part of the speech was aired on the Chris Matthews Show on July 6, 2012.
In our county, most of the poll workers know each of the voters and have reviewed signatures as a way to identify potential fraudulent voters. There has never been a problem of voter fraud in this or any other county in recent years in the Commonwealth of PA. This is clearly a solution to a problem that does not exist. The real problem Republicans were seeking to fix is the problem of how to make it so that many of President Obama's supporters do not the the proper qualifications to vote this year. They want to steal the election again as they did in Florida in 2000. In that year thousands of potential democratic voters were purged from the list of eligible voters before Election Day. As a people dedicated to the principles of democracy we should all be praying that this law will be deemed by the courts to be unconstitutional. The minimum that we should be hopeful of is that individuals will have more time to obtain the appropriate ID.
Elaine M. Wiehagen