Re­quire­ments for­vot­ing are ridicu­lous

Public Spirit - - OPINION -

To the ed­i­tor:

The out­rage from the pub­lic at the in­con­ve­nience, cost and time made nec­es­sary by the ridicu­lous re­quire­ments for pic­ture ID at the vot­ing booth may take some time to re­move Gov. Cor­bett and his leg­isla­tive al­lies from of­fice. But have no fear, it will be done. Rob Glea­son to the con­trary wrote (Let­ters, 9/13), there were no “real and im­por­tant” rea­sons that mo­ti­vated this sab­o­tage of the vot­ing process. It is em­bar­rass­ing that Afghan and Iraqi elec­tions have stronger turnout than even high-turnout elec­tions in­volv­ing the pres­i­dent and Congress. It is em­bar­rass­ing that we spend so much money to get the pub­lic’s at­ten­tion for such a vi­tal func­tion. It is em­bar­rass­ing that our courts view the pub­lic’s ef­fort to de­fend it­self against a tidal wave of anony­mous PAC money as free speech for cor­po­rate per­son­al­i­ties that are them- selves le­gal fic­tions.

The ini­tial im­ple­men­ta­tion of a voter ID was lit­tle more than a north­ern state poll tax. In or­der to avoid suc­cess­ful pros­e­cu­tion for vi­o­la­tion of the Vot­ing Rights Act, the Pa. Depart­ment of State added its own voter-only ID: this still makes it nec­es­sary for vot­ers with­out an of­fi­cial Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion pic­ture ID to ap­ply for and be pho­tographed for an of­fi­cial Turzai por­trait, but al­lows for any evil-in­ten­tioned “voter” to swear fraud­u­lently that they could not ob­tain the nec­es­sary doc­u­men­ta­tion to pro­vide false ev­i­dence of res­i­dence and to claim in­suf­fi­cient in­come to pay for the card.

The Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion is sim­ply not equipped to han­dle the vol­ume or to in­ves­ti­gate the ve­rac­ity of af­fi­davits and doc­u­ments pre­sented. In point of fact, the voter-only ID has made pos­si­ble new lev­els of voter fraud, which were not even pos­si­ble un­der the old sig­na­ture-ID reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem.

Only last week, Chel­tenham pub­lic schools went to court to con­vict par­ents of fraud­u­lently claim­ing that they and their chil­dren were res­i­dents. It was only at great ex­pense that such fraud was dis­cov­ered, and it will be ad­di­tional ex­pense to pros­e­cute. Voter ID was ill con­ceived from its in­cep­tion, but its im­ple­men­ta­tion by Harrisburg has made it a ter­ri­ble prac­ti­cal joke on a pub­lic which has not been fooled at all.

Harrisburg will be spend­ing mil­lions of dol­lars on this voter ID white ele­phant that could have gone to mak­ing sure that ad­e­quate staffing was avail­able to re­pair vot­ing equip­ment that did not work, which might have made early vot­ing avail­able, which might have trimmed our em­bar­rass­ment at the low turnout we in­evitably will ex­pe­ri­ence. In­stead, it has wasted the pub­lic’s time on a prob­lem it can barely prove has ever ex­isted, while open­ing vast new vis­tas of voter fraud, to avoid fed­eral civil rights pros­e­cu­tion. Ben Bur­rows

Elkins Park

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