What Pa. Republicans Really Think About Voters

Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images News
Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images News

Brentin Mock, writing at Colorlines, says that recent comments by the state's politicians surrounding controversial voter-ID laws reveal their disturbing perceptions of those who might not vote for them.

Yesterday, Judge Robert Simpson put a temporary hold on the full implementation of Pennsylvania's voter ID law, allowing for voters to cast ballots in November's elections regardless of whether they have a state-issued photo identification or not. The ruling prompted yet another statement from the state's GOP leadership that calls into question the motives for the law in the first place …

My colleague Ari Berman expounds plenty on this in his post "The 'Lazy' '47 Percent' Vote," but what we have here are state legislators who think that voters aren't being disenfranchised, they're just being slackers. But more than that, Rep. Metcalfe ties this voter ID issue into claims by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his veep running mate Paul Ryan that there is a huge percentage of people in society who are "takers," mooching off the so-called "makers" in society. How this applies to a fundamental right to vote for everyone, and which detracts from no one, as guaranteed in the Pennsylvania constitution is unclear.

What is clear is that Republicans in Pennsylvania think that anyone who isn't voting for them or following their agenda are fraudulent, irresponsible welfare queens who are undeserving of the vote. Statements made by Rep. Mike Turzai, who candidly admitted that the voter ID laws were passed to help "Romney win Pennsylvania," and the Pennsylvania GOP about Simpson's ruling weren't much better. After yesterday's ruling, Turzaireleased a statement that decried voter fraud even though the state's lawyers brought forth no evidence of voter fraud.


Read Brentin Mock's entire piece at Colorlines.

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