Political Reaction To Pa. Voter ID Ruling - New York News

Political Reaction To Pa. Voter ID Ruling

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PHILADELPHIA -

Pennsylvania's Voter ID law generated a firestorm of controversy throughout the commonwealth.

And the match that set it off came in the form of comments made by Allegheny county Republican state representative Mike Turzai.

During a June 23 speech to a GOP gathering, Turzai ticked off a list of accomplishments under a Republican-led legislature.

"Voter ID," he said, "which is going to allow governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done!"

Turzai may simply have meant that Mr. Romney could beat the president, if voting fraud in Democrat-rich Philadelphia was erased.

But to critics of the Voter ID law, it was an admission that the GOP was trying to keep some folks from casting their ballots.

Those folks were crowing about a Tuesday ruling from a commonwealth court judge that blocks implementation of the tougher ID standards for the November election.

"This is a victory for the people," said Philadelphia NAACP president J. Wyatt Mondesire, "and a loss for those scheming, lying legislators in Harrisburg, who thought they could hijack the presidential election."

Republican party officials note that polling shows strong support for the idea of strict ID requirements for voting.

A spokesman said Tuesday we should not have to wait for commonsense reforms to take effect.

But among the voting public, even some supporters admitted the new state law was confusing.

Seniors, especially, often lacked the documents needed to prove their eligibility to vote- even those who've been casting ballots for decades.

Again, even some supporters of the concept, like Zack Stalberg, the head of the political watchdog group Committee of 70, believe the Corbett administration and legislature made a mess of things.

Said Stalberg: "The state- probably for political reasons- attempted to drive this in more quickly than it should have- and now they have egg on their face."

The ruling is only a temporary victory for opponents of the ID law. That means the legal fight continues. And ironically, since those Turzai comments in June, polling shows president Obama pulling away from Gov. Romney in Pennsylvania- meaning the Voter ID law may not have impacted the contest even if it had been left in place by the judge

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