PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The whole controversy over voter ID is full of politics.
Republicans, who said they wanted to safeguard the election process, admitted it might give Mitt Romney the edge in Pennsylvania.
And Democrats said the bill was designed to keep Democrats from voting in big cities.
From the beginning, many thought pushing a voter identification law just before the presidential election smacked of politics — and House Republican leader Mike Turzai seemed to confirm that at a Republican meeting.
“Voter ID — which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania — done,” Turzai told an applauding crowd.
With no Democratic votes, a Republican-controlled legislature and a Republican governor moved quickly to enact the law and Democrats cried foul.
“That’s what’s being perpetrated here is a partisan attack to steal an election,” shouted PA Rep. Dan Frankel, a Squirrel Hill Democrat, at a June rally against the bill.
Duquesne University law professor Joseph Sabino Mistick says the court decision to postpone voter ID until after this election helps the Democrats.
“To those who thought that this was an attempt at voter suppression, an attempt to suppress the votes in the urban centers, in the poorer neighborhoods where voters are likely to vote for President Obama — that’s been blunted. That can’t happen anymore,” said Mistick.
Now those most likely to lack photo ID — non-drivers like the elderly, minorities and students — will have no barrier to voting, especially in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia where many tend to live.
And Mistick says the state’s multiple changes in how to get an ID was confusing and didn’t help.
“This was haphazard at best,” Mistsick said.
However you slice and dice this, this court decision benefits the Democrats in the short-term for this election.
But in the long run with photo ID coming to Pennsylvania in future elections, it may be the Republicans who get the ultimate win.