When 99% Is Not Enough to Trust a Republican
by Randy Shannon
The Pennsylvania Senate has approved a bill to restrict citizens’ access to the ballot. The bill was originated by a right-wing think tank called the American Legislative Exchange Council. An estimated 22,000 PA voters will not be able to vote under this new law. Republican legislatures in other states are passing the same law in hopes of influencing the outcome of the November election.
In late January concerned community, labor and civil rights leaders met with Sen. Elder Vogel (See story here.) and urged him to oppose the Republican voter ID law. He was told that several thousand elderly, young and poor voters would be disenfranchised by the new law. The new law is unnecessary because there have been no incidents of voter fraud. It is also an extra financial burden on the state and local election bureau’s at a difficult fiscal time.
Sen. Vogel’s aide Joe Weidner was present at the meeting. He stated “I’m against the bill.” When Vogel was asked his position he stated: “I’m 99% against this bill.” Vogel also assured the group that the bill would not come up for a vote this year. He also promised to meet again before deciding on his vote.
The Roll Call on this vote shows that Vogel voted for the bill that he was 99% against. This is instructive to community leaders who choose to believe the words of this Republican legislator. Is Senator Vogel a liar? One can only be 99% sure that he is a liar.
Pennsylvania Senate approves Voter ID
Photo identification could be required to cast a ballot starting in April.
HARRISBURG — — Legislation that would require state residents to show photo identification every time they vote has moved a step closer to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk.
The majority-Republican state Senate voted 26-23, largely along party lines, after hours of debate to approve legislation that backers say is intended to cut down on fraud at the polls. The bill now returns to the Republican-controlled state House, which is expected to approve it. Corbett has said he supports the concept.
Three Republicans: Sens. Stewart Greenleaf of Montgomery County; Mary Jo White of Venango County and Jane Earll of Erie, crossed over to vote with Democrats against the bill. White and Earll are not running for re-election this fall.
Fifteen states require voters to show a photo ID. Within minutes of the vote, Senate Democrats and the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union separately announced that they’re planning to sue. AARP and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also objected to the bill.
“We’re assembling a litigation team,” said Andy Hoover, ACLU’s Harrisburg lobbyist.
During floor debate, the chamber’s Democrats marched to the microphone to blast the bill sponsored by House State Government Chairman Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler. The House first passed the bill last June.
Democrats called the bill a “solution in search of a problem” and claimed that it would disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters even as it costs millions of tax dollars at time when the state is cutting funding to public schools.