Pennsylvania voter ID defendants admit they have no evidence of voter fraud

At the same time that the Department of Justice is investigating Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, defendants of the law are publicly saying they have no evidence of in-person voter fraud. They admit they have no reports of fraud and no proof that a voter ID would make fraud less likely to occur (if attempted).

The state signed a stipulation agreement with lawyers for the plaintiffs which acknowledges there “have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states.”

Additionally, the agreement states Pennsylvania “will not offer any evidence in this action that in-person voter fraud has in fact occurred in Pennsylvania and elsewhere” or even argue “that in person voter fraud is likely to occur in November 2012 in the absense of the Photo ID law.” – TPM

The revelation comes ahead  of a state trial that includes 93-year-old Viviette Applewhite and civil rights groups as plaintiffs. They argue (rightfully) that voter ID laws disenfranchise minority voters who are more likely to lack the proper ID.

I think it’s fair to say that this voter suppression across all these states is the biggest rollback of access to the ballot since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the abolition of the poll tax. – E.J. Dionne (The Ed Show – MSNBC)

The simple fact of the matter is: voting is a right. Any qualification that requires a lawful voter to spend money to vote is a poll tax. The Republicans who voted to enact these unlawful voter ID laws are just the latest participants in a long history of voter suppression efforts in the United States. These practices are why we have the 1965 Voting Rights Act. It saddens me to live in a state (Pennsylvania) that has the distinction of being the first northern state to be investigated by the DOJ for possible violations of the Voting Rights Act, enacted to police rampant minority disenfranchisement in a number of southern states until the 1960s. Shame on Pennsylvania. Shame on Republicans.

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Voter Suppression

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