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National Party Committees Watching PA Voter ID Case
WASHINGTON BUREAU (WENY) -- We could be just days away from a decision in the Pennsylvania voter ID lawsuit. People in the Northern Tier aren’t the only ones waiting to see what a commonwealth court judge will do. Both Republican and Democratic National Committees have been keeping close eye on this case. They’re not sitting back waiting for an outcome, however. Right now, the law requiring all voters to bring a valid photo ID to the polls stands, and they’re making sure their supporters are ready to vote on November 6th .
“Voter ID laws are common sense ways to make sure the person who says they’re voting is the person they are,” said Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer.
“They simply block people who have been voting for years and years from now, all of a sudden, not being able to access the ballot box,” said Democratic National Committee council and voter protection director Will Crossley.
Those are two very different points of view of voter ID laws from leaders within the national party committees. RNC’s Spicer says Republicans are not actively engaged in the voter ID debate, except in places where he says it’s under attack. Right now, that’s Pennsylvania, where the ACLU sued the commonwealth on behalf of ten plaintiffs who claim they would not be able to get a proper ID under the new law.
“I think every measure has been taken by the state of Pennsylvania to ensure that anyone who needs a photo ID is taken care of, and therefore prove who they are,” said Spicer.
DNC’s Crossley says the Democrats are taking a stronger stance against voter ID laws. He thinks voter identification rules that had been in place for years worked just fine.
“It’s not an issue of ID versus no-ID. I think that’s a false argument,” said Crossley. “It’s really an issue of requiring something new, in the run-up to the next election, where people don’t have access.”
Democrats say the Pennsylvania law disenfranchises elderly, minority, or poor voters who may not have a driver’s license. But the RNC says there’s no evidence to support that claim.
“Those are the same people who don’t have a problem with having a voter ID to qualify for government benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare,” said Spicer.
Republicans say voter ID laws help prevent fraud. Democrats say there’s no evidence to support that.
“I would suggest to people who want to make that argument that they go back and look at what the people who passed the law are now saying about it. They’re conceding the law was not passed for purposes of voter fraud,” said Crossley.
One thing both sides can agree on – Pennsylvania voters should make sure they have the proper photo ID now. If you don’t have one on Election Day, you will be able to cast a provisional ballot, but you’ll need to produce your photo ID within six days to make sure your vote counts.
For more information on how to apply for a free Pennsylvania voter ID card, call 1-877-VOTESPA, or click here: http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/voter/voteridlaw.shtml
New York does not require a photo ID at the polls.