Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is this the voter fraud the House GOP had in mind?

Voter fraud in Indiana

Just as Gov. Corbett had a yearning to be like Texas…at least  until he learned that they have a gas drillers tax…and a mineral resources property tax…and a recently enacted fracking fluid identification law, it is clear, after three days of debate on the ill-conceived voter ID legislation, that House Republicans are Indiana wannabes. At least that was the case yesterday…

Timing is everything -- in addition to the endless issues House Democrats illuminated on the House Floor this week, it seems like voter fraud is a thorn in the side of even Indiana's top election official, Republican Secretary of State Charlie White. 

While PA GOP members fight to enact a law to combat a nonexistent problem with voter fraud here at home, Mr. White is defending himself against allegations of voter fraud in Indiana. Whoops. It may be too late for the House Republicans to pull a Rosanne Rosannadanna-esque “never mind,” but they should give it a try.

Mr. White used an address on a voter registration form for the May 2010 primary that didn't belong to him. The address belonged to his ex-wife, and was NOT in the same district as the new condo he owns with his fiancée. In his defense of using the old address for political reasons, Mr. White's attorney admits White used his ex-wife's address as his mailing address, but his new condo as his physical address. Mr. White is defending himself in front of a state panel this week, and faces an August trial on criminal voter fraud and perjury charges.

Here’s the sad part. The $10m taxpayer funded voter ID bill that House Republicans in Pennsylvania are embracing doesn’t address this type of fraud. The bill they are pushing would require guys like Indiana Republican Secretary of State Charlie White to produce a photo ID to vote…which he did… The problem was not that he was who he said he was when he voted…the problem was that he was casting votes for people in a town where he wasn’t a resident. 

The $10 million photo ID requirements in the Pennsylvania bill geared more toward voter suppression than the impersonation voter fraud that Republicans hypothesize, would do nothing to remedy this very real kind of voter fraud.

House GOP leaders delayed this bill as long as they could, but, needing budget votes from the Paranoid Delusional faction within the Republican Caucus, we now find ourselves devoting hours to debating a voter suppression bill, rather than, you know, discussing a state budget.

But you can take solace in knowing this week Pennsylvania GOP leaders are making it more difficult to vote, but easier to shoot someone.