It’s time now for our voter suppression update, and we have some good news.
In Pennsylvania, a state judge has ruled that the provision of the state’s voter I.D. law that requires a photo I.D. for voting will not be enforced – at least for this year’s election. However, voting officials at polling places may still ask for a photo I.D.
To everyone in Pennsylvania, do not be intimidated by the request for a photo I.D. You can still vote without the photo I.D., and your vote will count.
And to show you how officials in Pennsylvania really are trippin’ here, they were planning to actually run ads during the Philadelphia Eagles-Pittsburgh Steelers game today stating you need your voter I.D., because they still are allowed to have a “soft” launch, if you will, of this law.
Well, Judith Browne-Dianis of the Advancement Project and others – they fought the state and convinced them that it would add further confoo- — confusion by running that ad.
This goes to show you they still are trying to suppress the vote by running such ads when you don’t have to use a voter I.D. Let’s watch out for all these efforts.
Now, it turns out that all the fighting against these new poll tax voter suppression efforts, folks, has gone pretty well. Lawrence Norden, of the Brennan Center for Justice, one of the groups fighting voter suppression, said this — quote: “Every voter restriction that has been challenged this year has been either enjoined, blocked or weakened. It has been an extraordinary string of victories for those opposing these laws.”
But a battle may have been won, but the war goes on. There is still so much news coverage of the need for a photo I.D. to vote, that some folks may stay home because they still think they need one.
Poll workers in states other than Pennsylvania may also still ask for a photo I.D. If you are a viewer of “Washington Watch,” we think you’re pretty sophisticated about all of this, but you need to make sure your parents, your kids, your aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews know they can vote without a photo I.D. Please find out what the deal is in your state. You have that family reunion email list. You have their cell phones, their Twitter handles, social media. Use it. Do not let someone stay at home thinking they can’t vote when they can.
Now, here is the website where you can get all the information about what you need in your state. It’s 866OurVote.org. That’s 866OurVote.org.
And one more thing. All of this is going to be fought over again after this election. These laws got passed by state legislators and governors and sometimes blocked by judges. These officials were elected in local races. So, when you vote, don’t stop at voting just for President. Go all the way down the ballot.
Also, don’t forget, folks. You also have “stand your ground” laws on some of the ballots. Look at the entire ballot and vote also constitutional amendments. Even if you vote a straight ticket, Democrat or Republican, you still must vote on those issues as well.
Now, folks, all of this got started by Republican politicians because there was supposed to be widespread voter fraud – which there is not. But there is one case of alleged voter registration fraud worth reporting. This year, a firm, Strategic Allied Consulting, was hired by the Republican National and Republican State Committees to register voters in battleground states. Now, Strategic Allied Consulting has now been fired by the GOP because of allegedly fraudulent voter registration forms they’ve turned up in Florida. The firm has been paid more than $3 million by the GOP.
But here’s my question. Why did Republicans hire this company at all? Its owner had been accused of tearing up the registration forms of Democrats in previous campaigns, among other illegal practices. And that’s important, because if someone tears up your registration form, you can’t vote because it never got to the voter office. This same firm was behind this dirty trick caught on cell phone video in Colorado, where a young woman claims to be working for the county clerk, but in fact was working for Str- — for Strategic Allied Consulting.
[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP.]
WORKER: Hi, ma’am.
WOMAN: Yeah, hi.
WORKER: Hi. I – I am polling people, but would you vote for Romney or Obama?
WOMAN: Well, wait. I thought you were registering voters a minute ago.
WORKER: I am. I am –
WORKER: — but I’m –
WOMAN: And who are you registering? All voters?
WORKER: — well, I’m actually trying to register people for a particular party –
WORKER: — because we’re – we’re out here in support of Romney, actually. I –
WOMAN: And who –
WORKER: — am.
WOMAN: — and who’s paying you for this?
WORKER: Oh, the – lemme see. We’re working for the county clerk’s office.
WOMAN: Okay. You cannot come –
WORKER: And so we’re just –
WOMAN: — out here and –
WORKER: — taking a poll –
WOMAN: — register one party, lady. If y- — are you working for the county clerk’s office? I got it –
WORKER: [Raises her hand to hide her face from the camera.] No[?].
WOMAN: — all on – [chuckles] – tape. You’re working for the county clerk’s office?
[END OF VIDEO CLIP.]
MR. MARTIN: And now she wants to hide her face.
Sorry. You’re busted.