The voter ID ruling: A poison pill
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 1:50 p.m.
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Under the standard set by the state Supreme Court in remanding Pennsylvania's contested voter ID law to Commonwealth Court, there never can be such a law in Penn's Wood.
The high court, ruling 4-2 on Tuesday, gave Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson until Oct. 2 to determine if the state is providing “liberal” access to new photo ID cards or if any voter will be unable to cast a ballot because of the voter ID law. (It was Judge Simpson who, in August, declined to enjoin the law's implementation.)
But by the Supreme Court's standard, any voter — perhaps someone who's never voted and has no intention of voting but is recruited by any anti-voter ID sympathizers? — effectively can scotch the law.
The fix is in.
Surely if Simpson upholds his original ruling, the ACLU will produce a perpetual supply of “disenfranchised voters” in a perpetual line of appeals.
Thus, the Supreme Court's ruling is a poison pill bordering on a Hobson's choice that will guarantee that elections in Pennsylvania will continue to be loosey-goosey affairs.
Gee, what's next, an orchestrated attack on voter registration because a potential registrant supposedly doesn't have “access” to a readily available voter registration form?
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I understand that this is an editorial, and apparently that means any semblance of objectivity goes out the window. But come on, guys. We're talking about a law that the Commonwealth itself freely acknowledges was enacted without any evidence whatsoever of significant voter fraud in PA. I thought the traditional conservative platform was for less government spending on useless programs. It doesn't get more useless than a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, does it? Heck, from where I'm sitting, the voter ID law itself sounds a whole lot more contrived than the PA Supreme Court's decision (which, incidentally, was dissented from by two justices who happen to be Democrats, according to the Trib's own reporting yesterday). Actually, now that I think about it, Mike Turzai's boneheaded boast that the new Voter ID law would enable Mitt Romney to win PA also makes the statute seem pretty contrived, doesn't it? But that's not a case of the fix being in. That's good government, right?