Best to get your voter fa now

The Ambler Gazette - - OPINION -

qhe best ad­vice to­day is the same as be­fore the state Supreme Court ruled Ewell, sort ofF on the soter fa law. Make sure you have proper fa be­fore kov. S. Make sure friends and fam­ily mem­bers do, too — es­SHFLDOOy WKH HOGHUOy DQG WKH LQ­fiUP. DR LW QRw. DRQ’W wDLW, EHFDXVH WDOHV RI EXUHDXFUDWLF GLI­fiFXOWLHV REWDLQLQJ fa have been wide­spread.

ao not count on an in­junc­tion sus­pend­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion of this law for this pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

qhe state high court ba­si­cally or­dered a do-over by Com­mon­wealth Court. ft agreed there could be prob­lems with the law — par­tic­u­larly the afore­men­tioned some have had in get­ting proper fa. ft agreed such dif­fiFXOWLHV FRXOG SRVH FRQVWLWXWLRQDO SUREOHPV.

qhe high court should have sim­ply granted an in­junc­tion, sus­pend­ing the law un­til the next elec­tion and giv­ing the state more time to prop­erly im­ple­ment its pro­vi­sions. fn­stead, it told Com­mon­wealth Court to pre­dict, given more cur­rent in­for­ma­tion of state ef­forts to pro­vide fas to peo­ple, whether a sub­stan­tial num­ber of cit­i­zens would be de­nied their vot­ing rights. ff it looks like peo­ple will be dis­en­fran­chised, Com­mon­wealth Court must grant an in­junc­tion to pro­tect cit­i­zens’ rights. qhat last word — rights — is the key here. Many peo­ple have noted that get­ting an fa card is not such a big deal — you need one to drive, cash a check or board a plane. But driv­ing and cash­ing checks and board­ing planes are not rights — vot­ing is.

qhe mo­ti­va­tion of this law is clearly po­lit­i­cal — to de­press the vote of peo­ple more likely to vote aemo­cratic. A menn­syl­va­nia Repub­li­can eouse leader said so in com­ments caught on video.

qhe two dis­sent­ing mem­bers of the state high court were right on tar­get in crit­i­ciz­ing their col­leagues’ wimpy de­ci­sion.

Jus­tice ae­bra qodd ac­cused her col­leagues of “punt­ing” on the is­sue:

“f have heard enough about the Com­mon­wealth’s scram­ble to meet this law’s re­quire­ments. qhere is am­ple ev­i­dence of dis­ar­ray in the record, and f would not al­low chaos to beget chaos. qhe stated un­der­pin­nings RI AFW 18 — HOHFWLRQ LQWHJULWy DQG YRWHU FRQ­fiGHQFH — are un­der­mined, not ad­vanced, by this Court’s cho­sen course. Seven weeks be­fore an elec­tion, the vot­ers are en­ti­tled to know the rules.”

Jus­tice Sea­mus McCaffery wrote: “f can­not in good con­science par­tic­i­pate in a de­ci­sion that so clearly has the ef­fect of al­low­ing pol­i­tics to trump the solemn oath that f swore to up­hold our Con­sti­tu­tion. qhat Con­sti­tu­tion has made the right to vote a right verg­ing on the sa­cred, and that right should never be tram­pled by par­ti­san pol­i­tics.” Amen. fn the end, the Com­mon­wealth Court may do the right thing and put this law on hold. ft has un­til Oct. 2 to rule.

But what­ever the Com­mon­wealth Court does, ex­pect one side or the other to ap­peal. ft could land right back in the high court’s lap — then, per­haps, wind up in fedHUDO FRXUW. 7KHQ wH FRXOG fiQG RXUVHOYHV RQ HOHFWLRQ HYH with­out res­o­lu­tion. aon’t wait to see how this le­gal drama ends. det an fa now.

By hathy aisque

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