Sunday, February 14, 2016

Fattah: public should "remember" who backed Voter ID

Congressman Chaka Fattah seems to be urging a political consequence, telling voters to "remember those who attempted to block access to our precious vote."

Fattah: public should "remember" who backed Voter ID


Critics of Pennsylvania's voter ID law have long said it was a political gimmick intended to swing this year's election. Now Congressman Chaka Fattah seems to be urging a political consequence, telling voters to "remember those who attempted to block access to our precious vote."

In a statement released this afternoon, the Philadelphia Democrat called the voter ID law "ill-advised and anti-democratic" and hailed the judge's ruling blocking it from taking full effect in November. (Angela Couloumbis has the full details of the decision here).

"Pennsylvanians should always remember those who attempted to block that access to our precious vote and who have sought to disenfranchise large numbers of voters,” Fattah said, not-so-subtly encouraging voters to hold the law against the GOP.

From across state lines, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons also jumped into the fray, issuing a statement calling the law "a transparent attempt to keep these voters out of the voting booth," referring to seniors, minorities, the poor and the young.

The Democrat said the law would have the "collateral damage" of excluding "hundreds of thousands" of qualified voters.

“Pennsylvania’s voter ID law is a step backward on our nation’s road toward equality," Coons said.

So far, none of the Republican members of our regional delegation in Washington have issued statements on the ruling, but the Pennsylvania GOP called voter ID a "commonsense reform."

"We will work to encourage voters to bring their photo identification with them to the polls," said PA GOP chairman Rob Gleason.  “Poll after poll has shown that Pennsylvanians from both political parties overwhelmingly support Voter ID legislation because, despite the empty rhetoric to the contrary, this legislation is still about ensuring one person, one vote. Our Party remains committed to the citizens of the Commonwealth and we will do all that we can to ensure free and fair elections.”

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About this blog

Jonathan Tamari is the Inquirer’s Washington correspondent. He writes about the lawmakers, politics and policy that affect Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Tamari previously covered the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL. Before that he worked in Trenton, reporting on the characters and color of New Jersey state government. He lives in Washington.

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