Pennsylvania Dreamin’ on Such a Summer’s Day

You’re starting to hear conservative celebration that the recent ruling in Commonwealth Court, upholding voter ID, is a game changer. It is not. Philadelphia will not enforce this law. Election officials outside of Philadelphia won’t even enforce the law. Voters in Philadelphia, or any other jurisdiction that Republicans think are rife with voter fraud, will easily be allowed to vote without any ID come November. I would put real money on that. This law will simply not be enforced in jurisdictions that are hostile to it.

Anyone who is involved, or has been involved, in gun rights in this Commonwealth should know what the pertinent question is; how are you doing to enforce this law? The law itself, without enforcement and subsequent penalties actually applied, is no better than smudges of ink on parchment. We’ve seen this with the number of local jurisdictions willing to extend a middle finger to the state’s firearms preemption laws, or by local jurisdictions inventing extralegal requirements for exercising constitutional rights. We are well familiar with this.

The Voter ID law will be ignored by those it is meant to target, and they will do this with impunity. Enforcement of election law is done entirely at the local level by poll watchers, and without honest people on the ground, this is never a problem that will get solved. That leads me to believe the solution to this problem lies in creating more transparency, and better reporting and enforcement mechanisms for reporting real voter fraud. One has to address that problem first, before deciding that a top-down solution out of Harrisburg is all it takes to fix the problem.

There are more outlets than ever that accept reports from voters about irregularities and violations. Hell, even the Philly MSM picked up voter reports of one of their incumbent darlings illegally campaigning inside polling locations. In Philadelphia, there’s Committee of Seventy which was gathering reports of voter ID violations on Primary Day. The Daily News published the account about the illegal campaigning by an incumbent Democrat. There’s @electionjournal which publishes accounts of election problems. The internet-only PA Independent might accept reports, as well as Daily Caller for national scale. It’s very handy that most of these can be reached with a simple smartphone.

Of course, if voters witness something egregious, the fastest way to make a real impact is likely to call the local leaders of the opposition party. They have lawyers on call for just this kind of situation.

8 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Dreamin’ on Such a Summer’s Day”

  1. All Philly Republicans can do is get additional poll watchers to be visible in each location. Document what they see, and photograph impropriety they see discretely. (Or video it)
    Kind of like what was done in other locations.
    The reason there has been no prosecutions is the exact same reason they might not follow the rules now. But a call to the local sheriff or constable to have to investigate the charges of election evasion!

    But my fingers are crossed. IF also they have no(Zero) questionable ballots posted in those precincts , the issue of them saying NO ONE has ID falls also, right? What the dems have to hope for is many people need conditional ballets because they did NOT have ID to prove how many people were inconvenienced.

  2. Bingo. During the Wisconsin recalls (this year’s version), the City of Racine completely ignored all the reforms passed in last year’s Voter ID law. The actual law has been stuck in court for over a year now, but not all provisions are being challenged. Racine just decided not to follow the law regarding same day registration, etc. The end result is a stolen State Senate seat thanks to 25% same day registrations as a percent of the vote totals, no one required to sign their names to poll books, etc.

    I’ve wondered why in the world anyone is going to expect corrupt poll workers to require people to use an ID in the hundreds of precincts across the Milwaukees and Racines of the State after the law is finally upheld.

  3. So it sounds like the next step is to not involve poll workers at all. Have the voting machine scan the ID.

  4. That’s one of the things I find kindof funny about the anti-anarcho-capitalism crowd: the fear that if we don’t have any laws, no one will behave.

    The truth is that we have so many people, and so many laws for that matter, that the only reason laws are obeyed anyway, is because for the most part, people think those laws ought to be obeyed, and obey them. If we didn’t want to obey the laws, for the most part, there will be no one to stop us.

    And if a region, for the most part, wants to ignore a certain law, there’s no stopping the people from ignoring that law.

    Well, occasionally, someone gets snagged by a law they had no idea existed; and certainly, local officers actually hunt down and arrest those who commit the biggies–murder, rape, assault, and so forth–but these kinds of things would happen under a so-called anarcho-capitalist society anyway.

    I have the impression that I’m one of the anarcho-capitalist people who don’t believe life would be a paradise if we were to get rid of all laws. Instead, for better or for worse, we’d have the society we desired and deserved. (In reality, *any* form of self-government has this flaw; heck, even outright dictatorships are the result of the people’s will sometimes!)

  5. To put an entirely human face on this question: I have worked the polls so often in the past 30 years (not so much in the last 5 – 8 though), at a polling place that has always been long on camaraderie, even between opposing parties and causes, that I would be very surprised if, after being greeted by my first name, I was called on it if I flashed the wrong papers. That of course would be a violation, even though I’m a totally legal voter. (Of course, everyone at the polling place knows there is no telling which way I’m voting.)

    I’m just wondering how many cases like that are going to be called out as “voter fraud.” And, yes, I do expect it to happen most often in insular urban districts where everyone has known everyone else for decades; and that is the backbone of their political system.

  6. None of this matters anyway. On the one side, there is very little evidence of voter fraud so it won’t help the Republicans any. On the other side, the sort of people who don’t have ID usually don’t vote anyway, so it’s not going to hurt the Democrats.

    1. “On the one side, there is very little evidence of voter fraud so it won’t help the Republicans any.”

      What remains to be seen is how effective it will be in suppressing legitimate votes and in what constituencies. Objectively, I see no question at all that that was its purpose. I will find it amusing if it works that way as effectively among the rural constituencies as the urban it appears to be directed at.

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