PA Voting: What a Week in Pennsylvania

Crossposted from Democratic Convention Watch

Yesterday, the NCAA and the Big Ten came down on Penn State in ways that show sometimes, rarely, but sometimes, there is justice in this world. It's possible that form of heavenly lightening might strike twice here in the Keystone State.

As you are likely aware, the Corbett administration in concert with the most racist and backwards elements of the PA General Assembly and state Senate passed legislation in March of this year making it close to impossible for almost 10% of all registered voters to vote this November. Yes, really: 9.2%. Source.

You make think there's a lot of fraud going on in Pennsylvania. Well, no. The state stipulated that there is no voter fraud:

This was stipulated as part of a court case brought against the state on behalf of legitimate voters who will be denied suffrage, and which we posted on when the suit was filed back in May.

There's no doubt that the law was enacted solely to disenfranchise minorities who would more likely vote for Obama than Romney. Really. The guy in the clip is Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai. 

More proof that the disenfranchisement is targeted here

And now the Feds are involved under the 1965 Voting Rights Law. Not Section 5, which relates to those states that had discriminated in the past, but Section 2, which states:

Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in one of the language minority groups identified in Section 4(f)(2) of the Act. Most of the cases arising under Section 2 since its enactment involved challenges to at-large election schemes, but the section's prohibition against discrimination in voting applies nationwide to any voting standard, practice, or procedure that results in the denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group. Section 2 is permanent and has no expiration date as do certain other provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

Thanks Eric Holder! 

In a letter sent to Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele on Monday, DOJ requested state data on registered voters as well as the state’s list of individuals with driver’s licenses and ID cards. Additionally, DOJ requested information on the state’s efforts to educate voters about the new law as well as documents and records supporting a March 14 statement from Gov. Tom Corbett (R) which claimed “99 percent of Pennsylvania’s already have acceptable photo IDs.”

Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez requested Pennsylvania send the information to federal authorities within 30 days.

The case is in court tomorrow, and if it somehow gets past the judges, even with an appeal in place, the Feds are on it. 

For those of you in Pennsylvania interested in making sure voters are registered, and that people without IDs get them if things stall before the election, click here to get involved. If you live in Chester County and want to work on local registration, Cheryl and I are launching Friday night and continuing on through the last possible day. Drop me a note if you're willing to give us 2 hours. 

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