Sponsor of Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law Says 47% Shouldn't Get to Vote
Americans receiving government benefits do not deserve
the right to vote, according to the Republican author
of Pennsylvania's harsh new voter ID law.
By Steven Rosenfeld
September 20, 2012
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-PA), told KDKA Radio on Wednesday
morning that his law will only disenfranchise "lazy" people,
like the ones Mitt Romney referred to in the secretly taped
video of a private Florida fundraiser in May where he railed
against the "47 percent" of Americans who he said don't pay
federal taxes and are pathetic government aid recipients.
Here is the dialogue, as transcribed by Think Progress.
HOST: Are you absolutely convinced...that the methods to
implement this law are effective and will in fact make sure no
legitimate voter will be disenfranchised?
METCALFE: I don't believe any legitimate voter that actually
wants to exercise that right and takes on the according
responsibility that goes with that right to secure their photo
ID will be disenfranchised. As Mitt Romney said, 47% of the
people that are living off the public dole, living off their
neighbors' hard work, and we have a lot of people out there
that are too lazy to get up and get out there and get the ID
they need. If individuals are too lazy, the state can't fix
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania's Republican Senate Majority
leader was caught on camera bragging that the new voter ID law
would help Romney win the state.
Whether the law will be in place for November is an open
question. Just days ago, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court sent a
lawsuit seeking to suspend the law it back to a lower state
court, telling that court that if any registered voter could
not get the newly required state ID cards before the 2012
election, then the law should be put on hold until there were
no barriers to voting.
Voting rights groups sued the state this summer, saying that
as many as 750,000 legal voters would not be able to obtain
the ID cards because the state's motor vehicle agency was too
slow to process requests. As of this week, the state had only
issued 9,000 new IDs, those lawyers said at a press conference
following the state Supreme Court's decision.
The Commonwealth Court is scheduled to take up the case on
Tuesday. But on Thursday, voting rights lawyers led by the
state ACLU chapter filed a motion seeking a preliminary
injunction to block the law until the lower court holds an
evidentiary hearing. They want that Court to issue that
injunction by Friday.
For more information on the case, here's the ACLU-PA's blog.
[Steven Rosenfeld covers democracy issues for AlterNet and is
the author of "Count My Vote: A Citizen's Guide to Voting"
(AlterNet Books, 2008).]
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