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Voter ID idiocy: A bad idea spreads

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Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, 9:12 p.m.

Democrat Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald's decision directing Allegheny County's community college and Kane Regional Centers for senior citizens to issue all-too-vulnerable-to-tampering voter IDs is so stupid that even the Democrat-dominated City of Philadelphia — long vote-fraud headquarters for Pennsylvania — won't follow suit.

So what does the willingness of officials elsewhere in the state to consider emulating this bad idea say about their legal acumen and commitment to electoral integrity?

Mr. Fitzgerald maintains these voter IDs — on loose-leaf, 8.5-by-11-inch paper and available to virtually anyone who wants one — comply with the letter of the state's voter ID law still wending its way through court challenges. Yet Philly's own lawyers can't say whether Fitzgerald's plan is legal, so that city's encouraging obtaining IDs through PennDOT.

The Pennsylvania Department of State says the law allows accredited colleges and senior centers to issue permissible IDs to help colleges students and nursing home residents. Fitzgerald's plan thus surely violates the law's spirit — and the resulting dubious IDs surely make vote fraud more, not less, likely.

Yet he says he's had inquiries from Beaver, Washington and Westmoreland counties about his voter-ID end run. Montgomery County has approved a similar plan and Northampton County's mulling one.

Seems Fitzgerald's politically motivated absurdity is contagious. And it's electoral integrity that stands to suffer from this insidious illness.

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