Friday, June 24, 2011
Voting Is A Right, Not A Privilege
The state House signed off on a voter identification bill Thursday after nearly 10 hours of sharply partisan floor debate over three days, sending the legislation to the Senate for consideration.
House members voted 108-88 to pass the divisive bill, which would require most voters to show photo ID before casting a ballot. Sponsor Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, said the measure is necessary to cut down on "significant voter fraud plaguing Pennsylvania's elections."
Significant voter fraud? You can count the number of voter fraud instances in PA with one hand.
Point of the matter is this: Voting isn't a privilege such as cashing a check or operating a car. It is a fundamental Constitutional right. As with all rights, it is not incumbent upon the citizen to prove he's eligible to exercise the right, it is incumbent upon the government to prove that the citizen is NOT eligible under the law.
It's reasonable to request some proof from a first time voter to ensure that he is who he says he is, but that can be done in many ways aside from a photo ID. After that, request for a photo ID at the polls amounts to a "Your papers please" demand.
Figures published periodically by the New York University School of Law show black, Hispanic and Asian voters are 5 to 10 percent more likely not to have the ID necessary under voter ID laws.
And that's the REAL reason Republicans are pushing for these voter ID laws, as those demographics are more likely to vote Democratic.