Republicans Try Stealing Election in Broad Daylight

The power hungry Republican Party and its corporate sponsors have now put our very democracy at issue. It’s a flawed thing to begin with, given the makeup of the U.S. Senate, the electoral college, and here in Pennsylvania, the small, inconvenient window of time within to vote, and the heavy restrictions that have been imposed on absentee voting. But under Act 18, enacted a few months ago, PA democracy is threatened in an even more profound way. Fully 10% of theoretically eligible PA voters – an astounding 18% of those living in Philadelphia – may not be able to cast their votes at all in November’s election.

This is because Act 18 requires all voters, even those well known to election officials and who may have been voting for decades at the same polling place, must show a photo id when they come to vote. And not any photo id will do; it must be a Penndot issued id, military, student or passport id, or one of a very few other kinds. An estimated million or more people in our state don’t have them.

The overwhelming majority of those blocked from voting will be poor people, minorities, and young people. And, of course, most of these will be Democrats.

A number of individuals and groups have filed suit to stop this abomination from going into effect in November, and the hearing on the suit will begin on July 25 in Commonwealth Court. But meanwhile it is up to us to do what we can to get people the ID’s they need. Fortunately a coalition of over 100 PA organizations has come together to accomplish just that, the PA Voter ID Coalition. They will provide you with training and materials to work in your very own neighborhood to get this work done. Please, if you value democracy, join this work.

The Coalition is headquartered at 310 W. Chelten Avenue. They will hold a training on field operations Monday, July 23rd at 6 PM, and another on the elements of Act 18 on Wednesday, August 1st. Please stop by or call them at 1-866-687-8683 to find the best way for you to pitch in to save our democracy.

Following one's conscience

I think it's time for the city's election judges and others to openly say they won't follow this law. It's unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional. Instead of enforcing a law they know to be wrong, it would be a beautiful act of courage -- which I think Philadelphians would support -- if City officials refused to obey such an openly crass move to disenfranchise voters, harkening back to poll taxes and grandfather clauses.

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