Friday, July 11, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Voter ID Q&A

A court hearing on PA's new voter ID law suggests a less than smooth transition to having voters show photos of themselves before voting in November.

Voter ID Q&A

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

BE: Yo, JB, how's that Commonwealth Court hearing in Harrisburg on the new voter ID law coming along?

JB: Swimmingly. I feel certain our state government is well-prepared for a smooth transition in requiring all voters to show photo IDs before voting in less than 100 days.

BE: But reports say the state doesn't even know how many people need the IDs and puts the number anywhere between 100,000 and more than 1 million.

JB: Well, look, 100,000 or a million, how much really could that impact an election outcome? Or are you just pro-fraud?

BE: But the state stipulated at the outset it has no evidence of fraud and won't offer any evidence at the hearing that fraud's likely to occur this year.

JB: Just because you can't see love, faith or angels doesn't mean they don't exist.

BE: Umm, okay. But what about the state's top election official, Carol Aichele, testifying Tuesday that she doesn't know what the law says?

JB: Did YOU read Obama's health car law?

BE: What about testimoney that PennDOT workers aren't informed about the law or able to handle the influx of requests for photo IDs?

JB: Look, it's clear you want Democrats to steal another election. It's clear you're not interested in protecting the sanctity of the vote.

BE: I'm just asking questions based on sworn testimoney.

JB: The state's doing all it can, including soon mailing out 5 million letters to voters.

BE: So that's another $2 million on top of the $340,000 for a mailing to the 758,000 who did or did not have proper ID on top of probably millions more for new "free" cards for whoever needs them on top of millions more for "public education" TV and print ads to explain the law on top of the time and expense of litigating this case and its appeal, on top of...

JB: Why do you hate America?

BE: I just don't understand. Conservatives who support this law are usually opposed to more government and more government spending, both of which are required to make this happen in order to fight a problem the government can't show exists.

JB: Freedom comes at a cost! And our state officials say the law is necessary to protect our freedom and easy to comply with and they are doing putting it in place quickly and efficiently.

BE: Well then I'm sure it all work out.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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