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Turzai Comments Renew Debate Over New Voter ID Law

Democrats say his remarks prove political motivation behind the bill.

Democrats are criticizing a comment from State House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, about the newly enacted voter identification law.

Sponsored by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, the law requires voters to show before they vote at the polls. , it is scheduled to take effect for the Nov. 6 general election. 

Speaking at a meeting of the Republican State Committee in Hershey over the weekend, Turzai was listing the accomplishments of the state House and Senate, when he pointed to the new law.

"Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it's done," Mr. Turzai said. "First pro-life legislation -- abortion facility regulations -- in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor [Mitt] Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done."

Democratic opponents posted video of his remark, saying it showed a political motivation behind the bill. Their opposition to the measure is well documented.

 

The two Democrats, board chairman John DeFazio and county Executive Rich Fitzgerald, voted to sue, while Republican Heather Heidelbaugh voted against the measure. 

"This is outrageous, but it confirms why the Republican governor and Republican legislature rammed this bill through into law. Pennsylvania already had sufficient safeguards in place to protect against voter impersonation, but apparently they weren’t strict enough to suppress legitimate Democratic voters. This new law could deny tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians their constitutional right to vote – just for partisan purposes. We need to make voting easier, not harder. This is a matter of basic civil rights," Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Squirrel Hill, said in a statement today.

Steve Miskin, a spokesman for Mr. Turzai, said the legislation was aimed at creating a fairer playing field for all candidates, the Post Gazette reported.

"The fact is, fraud does exist," Mr. Miskin said. "The idea is to stop fraud before it happens."

We want to know what you think? Is the new voter ID law needed to protect against voter fraud, or is it a way to discourage traditionally democratic voters from going to the polls? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.


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James Dale Barrington June 27, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Just about all of our relationships are political whether at work, home, school, interest groups, church etc. Yes, Mike Turzai was political as is the response from his colleagues on the other side. It's time to be partisan, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Being bipartisan, of course, has its place, too. Again, it's politics at work. -- But fair is fair. It is more important to me for everyone to be able to vote then for my 'party person' to get elected. Where political influence stops is at the ballot box. For a space of 5 minutes the person looks at the candidates for an office and chooses the one that she/he believes will do the better job. The curtain is pulled back and politics starts all over again. I agree that everyone should have an ID card on them if possible, but some cannot. -- Everyone should be able to vote -- 'if I/we can help them to do it.' I am an American before I am, -- in this case, -- a party member. The fraud 'that be' is not in the voting public. It lies in more creative and surreptitious manners; politics at its worse.

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