Skip to comments.Voter Fraud in the Keystone State (Pennsylvania's new Voter ID law)
Posted on 08/17/2012 8:26:58 AM PDT by smoothsailing
Opponents of voter-ID legislation are fighting such laws in over ten states, but much of their attention has recently focused on Pennsylvania. This week, a state judge refused to block a new law requiring ID at the polls and increasing security measures for absentee ballots from taking effect this November. The political stakes couldn’t be higher.
A new poll from Franklin & Marshall College shows that Barack Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney in the Keystone State has fallen to five points (47 percent to 42 percent). Obama led Romney by 48 percent to 36 percent in the last F&M poll in June. An incumbent president without majority support in a state at this point in the race is in danger of not being able to catch up. If Pennsylvania went Republican, it could decide the presidency — after all, the state hasn’t voted for the GOP at the presidential level since 1988, and it has 20 electoral votes.
In 2004, John Kerry edged out George W. Bush by only 150,000 votes out of 5.7 million cast. Kerry’s victory was built on an enormous margin in Philadelphia, where he won 81 percent of the vote, giving him an edge of 412,000 votes. Republicans have long suspected that voter fraud regularly occurs in Philadelphia. In the 1990s, a Philadelphia election that determined control of the state senate was thrown out by a federal judge because of massive fraud.
Last month, City Commissioner Al Schmidt, a Republican, issued a 27-page report on irregularities he found in a sample of Philadelphia precincts during this year’s primary. The report, which looked at only 1 percent of the city’s 1,687 districts, found cases of double voting, voter impersonation, and voting by non-citizens, as well as 23 people who were not registered to vote but nonetheless voted. Schmidt also found reports of people who were counted as voting in the wrong party’s primary.
“We did not set out to quantify the magnitude of voting irregularities that occurred, but rather to analyze them in detail,” his report stated. “Nevertheless, we identified hundreds of cases of voting irregularities [in select precincts] that warrant further investigation.”
Republicans are convinced that voter-ID laws coupled with absentee-ballot protections will cut down on fraud, and in areas like Philadelphia will lead to lower Democratic margins. The more honest among them acknowledge that the city has long been a fount of corruption, including when Republicans ran a machine that dominated it for 80 years until the 1950s. During that period, not a single Democrat was elected mayor, in part because of massive Republican-led voter fraud. All that changed after Democrats seized control of the levers of city power was that they perfected what former Democratic mayor Ed Rendell once admitted to me was “a yeasty system where the rule of law isn’t always followed.”
Opponents of voter-ID laws blasted Schmidt’s report, calling it “anecdotal” and a thinly veiled excuse to engage in voter suppression. They also reacted vigorously to Pennsylvania judge Robert Simpson’s ruling this week that the legislature was within its rights to pass a voter-ID law, though the ruling was unsurprising given that the Supreme Court, in a 6–3 vote, upheld the constitutionality of a similar Indiana law in 2008. NAACP official John Jordan nevertheless said his group was “appalled” at the judge’s ruling: “In the early 1960s it was Philadelphia, Mississippi [where votes were suppressed], and today it’s Philadelphia, Pa.” Garrett Epps of The Atlantic mourned that “powerful forces today would like to carry us back to the time when the government doled out ballots to those it approved of.” He also peddled the discredited estimate that 9 percent of the state’s population could be disenfranchised by photo-ID requirements.
As Judge Simpson noted, anyone who cannot obtain a photo ID is allowed to cast a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots will be counted if the voter can provide officials with a copy of acceptable ID within six days by mail, fax, or e-mail. If a voter is indigent and cannot afford the fee for a copy of his birth certificate, he simply needs to affirm this and his provisional ballot will be counted. “I am not convinced any qualified elector need be disfranchised” by the voter-ID law, Judge Simpson concluded. He also found no problem with the law’s provision that absentee voters must provide the last four digits of their Social Security number or driver’s license, a useful protection against fraud.
The number of people without proper ID in Pennsylvania is also not nearly as large as voter-ID critics claim. State officials testified that it was under 1 percent. That’s in line with court findings in recent ID cases and an American University analysis of three states, which found that fewer than one-half of 1 percent of people lacked ID. Critics claim that the state of Pennsylvania found that 758,000 registered voters lacked a Department of Motor Vehicles ID, but those numbers do not tell the whole story. Over l67,000 were inactive voters who hadn’t seen a polling place in at least five years. Many others may have other forms of acceptable identification ranging from passports to military IDs to government-employee IDs to cards issued by nursing homes or assisted-living facilities.
The basic problem that opponents of photo-ID laws have is that the American people reject their view that these laws are a tool of voter suppression. The American people view these laws as common sense. In a time when everyone needs ID to buy Sudafed at a drug store, purchase beer, travel by plane or even train, cash a check, enter a federal building, or apply for welfare benefits or a marriage license, showing ID at the polls doesn’t strike the average person as burdensome.
In a new Washington Post poll, a majority in all but one of 37 demographic groups responded in the affirmative to the following question: “In your view, should voters in the United States be required to show official, government-issued photo identification — such as a driver’s license — when they cast ballots on election day, or shouldn’t they have to do this?” The sole exception among demographic groups was liberal Democrats, who gave the idea 48 percent support.
Among all adults, 74 percent supported photo ID, as did 76 percent of independents and even 60 percent of Democrats. Sixty-five percent of blacks and 64 percent of Hispanics backed requiring ID at the polls. Those who lack a high-school degree — the demographic whose members are probably the most likely not to be able to afford an ID – registered 76 percent support.
The Post also asked those surveyed if they believed the supporters and opponents of voter-ID laws were acting out of genuine concern for fair elections, or that they were trying to gain some partisan advantage. Respondents were more likely to say that the opponents of these laws had political motivations than to say that proponents did.
Artur Davis, the former Democratic congressman from Alabama who nominated Barack Obama for president at the 2008 Democratic convention, agrees. “A big thing that drove me to leave the Democratic party and support photo ID was the realization that the real victims of voter fraud are minority and poor people who live in places where machines block reform efforts by stealing votes,” he told me. He wrote in an op-ed in the Montgomery Advertiser last year that “voting in the names of the dead, and the nonexistent, and the too-mentally impaired to function cancels out the votes of citizens who are exercising their rights — that’s suppression by any light. If you doubt it exists, I don’t; I’ve heard the peddlers of those ballots brag about it, I’ve been asked to provide the funds for it, and I am confident it has changed at least a few close local election results.”
This week, it was announced that Davis will be a featured speaker at the GOP convention in Tampa this month. Here’s hoping he exposes the falsehood that voter ID is designed to suppress votes. Fraudulent votes shouldn’t be counted, regardless of which party they benefit.
— John Fund is national-affairs columnist for NRO and a co-author of the newly released Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk (Encounter Books).
Pennsylvania confounds me.
This president has launched a war on the Coal industry. I know there are large liberal bastians in an otherwise sparcely populated mountainous state. But you would think their would be more outrage against an administration that has so negatively impacted the largest industry of a state.
Maybe I am confused about how important the coal industry is to Pennsylvania. Someone correct me if so.
Gee, why do you suppose the crackers would come up with such a crazy idea?
These metro areas are populated heavily with people who'd rather milk the government teat than allow others to mine coal.
Around here (SW PA), the gas industry has usurped King Coal, so the battleground is drilling and fracking.
There's not too much noise anymore about evil drilling and fracking, so what will be PA's demise is apathy.
If PA nurtures a "They're all crooks, why bother" attitude, Philadelphia and Allegheny county will once again defacto paint Pa democrat, when in fact, PA is a conservative state.
Every college kid in this state knows how to get a fake Pennsylvania ID from some website in China. So what’s the problem?
One has to understand the voting demographics of Pennsylvania. Much of the state is rural. There are basically 2 urban areas, that around Pittsburgh and that around Philadelphia. The rest of the state has a significant population and is referred to as the ‘T’.
However Philadelphia is massively corrupt and run by shameless leftists who cheat in elections in ways that would have made Stalinists blush. If you look at Philly election statistics, they have something like 95% turnout in which over 80% votes Democrat. There is nowhere else in the country which has anything near 95% turnout. I think in some years turnout has actually exceeded the voting age population.
Thus you have Philly as a complete washout every election. That’s pure Democrat votes.
The ‘T’ composed of small towns and cities traditionally votes GOP.
Thus elections generally come down to the Pittsburgh area. While Pittsburgh is also a fairly corrupt Democrat machine city, it’s is nowhere near as bad as Philly, so in theory the area can tip GOP and throw the election that way. This is what happened in 88. However Pittsburgh is also very Union, so it’s not an easy thing to do.
Really the GOP has a tough row to hoe in PA since there is so much cheating. Perhaps this voter ID law will take away the ridiculous Philly advantage. We’ll see.
The coal industry is extremely important to Pennsylvania, but remeber, the Democrat party “base” of urban bums, deadbeats, and parasites far outnumbers those people still left in the dying coal towns. For Democrat voters, it’s more about the “free stuff” confisctaed for from Republicans and handed over in exchange for their votes that matters more than anything else. ANYTHING else. And now that the Democrats have killed the coal industry thereby leaving even MORE people addicted to government welfare, it’s “win-win” for the Democrats.
Hope this helps.
Actually Indiana County is blue on that map.
The red county is Cambria County, where virtually everyone earns their living off some type of federal pork brought to the area by the late John Murtha.
Scranton, of course, is the hometown of Casey, Jr. Erie earned infamy as the site of the poor delivery driver with the collar bomb in that failed extortion plot.
I was watching Hanity last night and he was talking about the Voter ID law in PA with some liberal pundit. The liberal guy kept saying that you shouldn’t have to show an ID to exercise your constitutionally guaranteed right to vote! I was yelling at the TV that I have to show multiple IDs when I buy a gun and endure a background check.
Of course they do. The Left is afraid we'll make it harder to steal elections, and they're pitching a fit about it.
Thanks for the correction. Yes, Cambria County is home of Johnstown and is essentially a rural version of the Mon Valley: Idiots who think good-paying union jobs will eventually come back if they just keep pulling the “D” lever. But the margins are getting thinner each election.
I saw that too. It’s a desperate argument on the part of the liberals. Folks just don’t see having to show a picture ID as a burden. We do it for so many things that it’s almost second nature.
If you want on/off the PA Ping List, please freepmail me. Thanks!
I would be interested to see where you found this 95% turnout figure. I think you mean some wards and not the city as a whole.I am trying to research Philly elections and I though it was more in the 60’s.
I believe that in some wards the ‘10 off year turnout was 20% or less than’08 which in itself raises questions about inflated counts. That needs to be compared to presidential v off year turnouts across all voting districts in the state but I don’t have time right now.
In Philly, ward leaders and miscellaneous thugs would have entire voting machines put on dollies and removed from polling places, either to suppress, augment or otherwise tamper with the actual votes. They also had wads of WAM (walking around money) for every election to bribe street corner vagrants to go and vote Democrat.
This was from back in 2000 during the Gore vs. Bush election. I did the research back then, and no longer have the data sorry. I may be off by some percent, but trust me the turnout was flat out ridiculous. IIRC it was for the city proper, not the whole metro area.
You also have to show ID to use Medicare. That is every time you visit the MD or access Medicare paid for tests. They also make copies. We won’t even dare mention the casino perks that have you showing ID to get comps which I am sure the Philly Democrats complain about all the time.
I saw it too!
The drunk yinzer woman at the end is so typical of the Obama union zombies in the ‘burg. LOL!
Like Maryland, Pennsylvania is two states. You have the vast land granted to William Penn, full of gun- and Bible-clingers, coal miners and the like; then you have the extremely populous Pittsburgh and Philadelphia stapling down the two ends of the state. They are full of what cities are full of.
In Maryland, you have what Palin calls “real Americans”, and then you have the Baltimore-Washington corridor.
I should have pinged you, randita, I forgot you started a PA list. My apologies. :)
I'll top that, the last time I voted in Philly, Fairmount section, Bush vs Gore. 100 % turnout in my ward, 100 % for Gore. Not only is that so friggin unlikely under any condition, my neighbor had just died and myself, girlfriend and a few others did not vote for the Sore-Loserman ticket.
All Dems at the poll btw, and when I learned of the "great turnout" I called city hall, reps, etc., no one wanted to touch, I mean no one.
Yep, that was the election in which I actually looked at the numbers closely. The 2000 Gore vs. Bush election had utterly preposterous numbers come out of Philly. I mean it could have been enough B.S. to offset the claims that Gore won the popular vote.
Ok, just looked it up. The margin of popular vote was around 540k, which might be a bit much. Though I will state that I doubt Philly is the only place the Democrats cheat.
Nothing would surprise me in Philly. I had many great times, Philly was a great city to grow up and live in but no more.
Maybe I am confused about how important the coal industry is to Pennsylvania.
Someone correct me if so.
The creator of the poll referred to in the article was on a local radio talk show yesterday. He flatly stated that the results were weighted 56% Democrat and 38% Republican. He says that this is based on the 2008 voter turnout, but he also stated that the 2010 voter turnout was a majority Republican. Odufus was not on the ballot in 2010, so the fraud squads were not mobilized. See the vast difference?!? I wonder what the raw numbers were??
He "says" that he is "impartial", but when he is interviewed, he is a lib, and supports lib causes.
Hmmmm ..??? Today I saw a video of Romney in Coal-country, and there was a big sign saying, “Coal Miners for Romney”.
Looks like Obama has caused the miners to rethink their vote.
NEPA is still voting for JFK and Dan Flood but lately illegals have been moving in to replace the aging and dying JFK voters. I went to parochial school in Hazleton, aside from pictures of a few Saints and the current Pope, pictures of JFK hung in every classroom right next to the original George W.
“..Philly was a great city to grow up and live in but no more...”
Same here. Olney was a nice place for a while. WWII and Korea War vets coming home and raising kids, little factories and small businesses to work in, Sears on the Boulevard supplied work for teenagers...
It was a nice place, the only exception being Olney High School in the late 70s/80s - morons bussed in from the “oppressed” parts of the city, and racial troubles started, coupled with the drug dealers that followed them.
Ghetto now. Typical “Obamaville” and a perfect example of Dem control for generation after generation.
But... the actual amount of vote fraud is insignificant, isn’t it?
Maybe there is finally some hope for the area. JWF, here in Johnstown told the International Association of Machinists 194 to 38 to stick their union up their ass.
Dad was born - literally - in his house on Chandler St. in Fox Chase and graduated from Olney in the ‘40s. He was an avid hunter and hunted regularly in the fields and woods where Jeanes Hospital now stands. Back then, when people saw a 12-year-old walking down the street with a shotgun over his shoulder, they smiled and waved.
This can’t be true! I heard Ed Shcultz on MSNBC say last night there has never been any voter fraud in PA and I just know he wouldn’t lie! (Rolls eyes)
Fox Chase still is a nice section...beautiful out there.
My old man grew up in Fairmount, near the old Eastern PA State Penitentiary. Poplar street, one of 7. Big, raucous family, squabbling, fighting, loving, living...Depression-era kids with a Mom and Dad (he died young) who never had anything but love and hard work to offer them.
Dad came back from WWII married Mom, and they moved up to Olney in 1957 (don’t want to say where, TMI out here). Mom said it was a lovely little neighborhood when they moved there.
I finally got her out of there in 2006 (stubborn...it was a combination of the Irish and the Ukie in her), but she passed away shortly afterwards.
I can remember almost all of my neighbors - and they all knew me too.
It WAS a nice place to be a kid for a while. Miss the “neighborhood-ness” of it (for lack of a better word...)
My Father and my older Brother attended St Henry’s. We lived at 9th and Courtland, moved from their in 1975 - it was getting bad by then.
“...it was getting bad by then....”
You know the saddest thing about all this?
So many of us have been displaced from our hometown, our neighborhoods...and we look back fondly and nostalgically.
Neighborhoods just don’t “go bad”...”neighborhoods” themselves don’t do ANYTHING.
It’s the people that come in after you. People make the neighborhood. Or destroy it.
Of course, we’re “racist” if we say so...
Perhaps the saddest thing is realizing that the poet who said “You can’t go home again” was indeed, correct, for a lot of us.
And it makes me more than a bit angry too. My folks had pride in their home; it wasn’t much, a shoebox of a rowhome, but it was theirs, they worked for it, they maintained it, and they raised their kids - our people - there.
And now it’s trashed by people with zero respect for themselves, for their neighborhood, for anything. And it happens over and over again, systematically.
That’s what is angering to me.
Me too. A friend of mine grew up in coal country east of Pittsburgh and he says the entitlement mentality is the culprit. As the industries (railroads, oil, steel, coal) have drawn down the majority of the laid-off workers have gone onto the dole. Across large swaths of the state there are white families that are two, three or even four generations removed from the notion of working for a living. My friend has in-laws in this category. None of them have worked a permanent job in decades. They receive welfare, foodstamps and a housing stipend of some sort from the state. Thier kids went straight from college(!) to the unemployment line a decade ago when jobs were plentiful and there wasn't much of an excuse. They aren't typical donk voters, but they recoil from the idea of voting for someone who might derail the gubmint gravy train. My friend swears that folks like this are legion in rural PA. Based on past elections, he might be right.
Where in the Constitution are you guaranteed the right to vote without proving you are a citizen who has the right to vote?
The USSC couldn't find it anywhere.
I remember the people that were the problem, they didn't live right in area at first, they would just cause problems in our area. Before we moved there were homes being abandoned when the old folks that lived there passed and no one wanted to move in. Beautiful Wissahickon schist houses, left to rot.
Pennsylvania confounds me.
However,the gas/oil boom in N.Pa is changing things for the better up here.
At least I think so.
Its not just the gas/oil but all the other side business that benefit from the influx.
Most everyone in the oil bussiness our pro-family,obviously hard workers, and they have money to infuse into some of the pooreer areas.
All things that appeal to non-communist and or non-reliefers.
I pray that Philly and Chicago turn themselves around and make Paddy choke on his words, (actually it's too late for Paddy..he died some time ago.)
I hear you, friend.
Your story sounds much like my own.
Best we can do is build that atmosphere, as much as possible, in our own neighborhoods now.
Know your neighbor; help them when they need it. Watch over next door’s kids when they’re playing outside. Know which cars belong on your street, and which don’t. Got a sick or elderly widow/widower, help them out. Make sure they’re OK.
Take pride in living where you live, and your neighbor will too. Chances are, HE got moved out just the same as we did.
I miss it, but I’m glad I am where I am now. People who take care of their own little area of responsibility set an example for others.
Hang out a flag, Christmas lights, Halloween candy for the kids, know their names, and be “that guy” on the block who always has a helping hand to lend.
At the end of the day, THAT is what Mom and Dad taught us in those little Philly rowhomes, with their struggles and triumphs. I think it’s just part of being an American, and loving the idea of America.
It NEVER has to go away. Only goes away if we let it.
95% means they ain't trying. If you look at the census statistics for some Philly precincts they get 105-115% turnout.
The Kenyan, and elected "D's in general) have set precident for this form of law breaking. The voting districts should follow their examples.
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