Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for October 2nd, 2012

Preventing Disenfranchisement — Except Not

Posted by MEC on October 2, 2012

Pennsylvania judge Robert Simpson has issued an injunction against the new law requiring voters to present government-issued photo ID in order to vote. Except, he hasn’t issued an injunction against the entire law, only against enforcing the “language” regarding provisional ballots.

From the ruling: “I will not restrain election officials from asking for photo ID at the polls; rather, I will enjoin enforcement of those parts of Act 18 which directly result in disenfranchisement.” The injunction only delays (until after the November election) enforcement of the provision that voters without ID can only have provisional ballots and must present valid ID within six days or their ballots won’t be counted. There is no requirement, however, to inform voters who don’t have ID that they cannot be denied a regular ballot.

The stated purpose of the injunction is to prevent disenfranchisement, but Judge Simpson painstakingly justified leaving intact the provisions that will deter people from trying to vote. The ruling explicitly rejects the petitioners’ request to enjoin “outreach and education efforts required” by the new law. How many voters will stay home because they’ve been “educated” that they need ID and don’t know that the requirement won’t be enforced? How many elections officials will tell voters, “The law requires you to show ID to get a ballot,” but neglect to explain, “But we can’t enforce it, so you can have a ballot anyway”?

Even if voters without ID know that they can’t be denied a ballot and persuade elections officials to give them a ballot, prevailing over confusion and contradictions this injunction creates will waste time, create conflict, and generally make voting more difficult for all voters, not just voters without the required form of ID.

The injunction is not a victory for voting rights. It does as little as possible to prevent disenfranchisement.

Posted in Republicans as cancer, voting rights | 5 Comments »

Speaking Of Paul Ryan: Meet His Opponent, Rob Zerban

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 2, 2012

Even as the austerity jackals try to pretend that Paul Ryan’s austerity jones isn’t part of what’s sinking the Romney campaign, Ryan’s congressional opponent, Rob Zerban, has been asking why self-styled Macho Athlete Dude Ryan runs away like a frightened first-grade bully from every opportunity to debate Zerban. This is particularly odd considering that Ryan has debated every single other foe he’s faced as a congressional candidate — the less likely to win, the better.

Gee, you kinda wonder if it’s precisely because Zerban has a chance against Ryan, that Ryan won’t debate him?

By the way, Zerban’s Act Blue page is here:

Throw a few coins at it, and you might be rewarded by seeing Ryan, the poster child for austerity, go down — and perhaps take the Grand Bargain with him.

(Crossposted to MyFDL.)

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

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