Pennsylvania lawmaker sparks fire over voter ID comment
June 26th, 2012
11:44 AM ET
2 years ago

Pennsylvania lawmaker sparks fire over voter ID comment

(CNN) - Pennsylvania Democrats are fuming over a comment made by a Republican state representative, who said a controversial voter identification law will help Mitt Romney carry Pennsylvania in November.

The comment has Democrats on edge, as they say it further proves their argument that the law was politically motivated and created to help Republicans.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

Mike Turzai, the state's House majority leader, made the remark Saturday at the state's Republican State Committee meeting, according to PoliticsPA.com. After listing off a series of GOP legislative accomplishments involving Second Amendment rights and abortion regulations, Turzai mentioned the new voting law, which requires voters to show a photo ID, as one of those GOP victories.

"Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done," he said, drawing applause.

While Republicans argue the new law helps to fight fraud, Democrats make the case that the new requirement aids Republicans in the voting booth-and Turzai's comment, they say, represents further evidence of their claim.

"Mike Turzai's admission that Voter ID only serves the partisan interests of his party should be shocking, but unfortunately it isn't. Turzai's comments are typical of a leader and a party that has consistently put their interests ahead of the interests of Pennsylvania," said Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesman Mark Nicastre in a statement.

Defending his remark, Turzai's office said the lawmaker was making the point that the new law prevents election fraud and levels the playing field for GOP candidates on the ballot.

"Rep. Turzai was speaking at a partisan, political event. He was simply referencing, for the first time in a long while, the Republican Presidential candidate will be on a more even keel thanks to Voter ID. The reference was nothing more than that to a statewide Republican crowd," his spokesman, Stephen Miskin, said in a statement.

While a Republican presidential candidate hasn't won Pennsylvania since 1988, the state made big GOP gains in recent years and has a Republican governor and one U.S. senator.

Recent polls, however, show Obama in the lead in the Keystone State. A Quinnipiac survey released earlier in June indicated the president held a 46%-40% advantage over Romney in Pennsylvania.

– CNN's Justin Lear contributed to this report.


Filed under: Mitt Romney • Pennsylvania • Republicans
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Myviewis

    Voter Supression is just a gimmick, an excuse, fear Democrats created and are hoping it will eliminate voter ID checking. What is wrong with checking IDs? Everyone has an ID of some form such as Driver's License, Passport, State ID, etc...I think Voter Suppression is a way of Democrats manipulating the minorities. Voting is for legal citizens and legal citizens should not be opposed to requiring to show an ID to vote. If you have a problem showing your ID to vote than perhaps there is a legal problem like you are not legal to vote. Democrats, people are on to your trick.

    June 26, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Robert JM

    J Russ – Can somone state a factual reason for requiring an ID to Vote ????

    June 26, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. George form Raleigh

    The parties should work to increase voter participation not restrict it. Why don't they work on a bill that says no election is legitamate unless 80% of the registered voters turn out.

    June 26, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. GWjr

    Yes, why indeed does voter ID = less minority etc votes, or disenfranchisement of ANY person eligible and legally registered to vote? Some posters here just make that assumption, based on exactly what?

    June 26, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. rla

    Democrats have won by fraud in Pa for years- No wonder they are upset that they can't cheat!!! Clean elections are a must and the democrats should be on the side of clean elections not against them. Makes one wonder

    June 26, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Fed Up

    Last I knew, only U.S. citizens have the right to vote in our elections. How is it profiling, how is it unlawful, to make certain that each and every vote is real, and truly does count? Are we going to rig our elections and have Democrats sweep races by having anyone here illegally vote?

    June 26, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. JES

    Myviewis, what a ridiculous comment. First of all, these moves to force i.d.'s at the polling place are being carefully targeted in states with GOP controlled governments and have all popped up coincidentally since the '08 election. How can anyone listen to what this lawmaker in PA said and not see it as a blatant attempt to suppress voters? Did illegals just start flooding to the polls in '08 for the first time? It's shameful...

    June 26, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. cmnsncu

    Republicans cannot make it in the political arena without trickery and TONS of money.

    June 26, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. B.

    It is Verification of the Republicans national agenda to impede voting of minorities,elderly, young voters,poor people, all who the Republicans understand would vote Democratic.

    It is just part of a trend by the GOP to ultimately control voting trends in this country along with redistricting in states to benefit the Republicans as well as destroying the Unions.The Citizens United ruling – Buying government buy the wealthy completes the final takeover.

    The Republicans are on their way to destroying democracy in this country as we knew it and Romney is their puppet for the real controllers of this effort, the Corporations and Wall street.

    June 26, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. Malory Archer

    Jeff in San Diego

    ID cards are nothing compared to Florida's attack on voter registration efforts aimed at keeping college students and working class folks from registering to vote.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And our illustrious governor has decided that the list of 180,000+ "illegal voters" is "secret" so if you're on it chances are you won't even know it until you show up to vote.

    June 26, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Say_Nothing -Do_Nothing_Flip_n_Flopper VULTURE CAPITALIST

    uh-uh I didn't mean to say that!

    Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe can't win on a straight up and down vote, now he is pushing forth his lackeys at the state level to steal the election. GORE vs. BUSH redux!!!

    June 26, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. Flint Rock

    This a shabby move by self-serving political partisans. They abused their authority by creating a solution when there was no problem. Shame on them!

    June 26, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. David

    Myviews –
    NO every does not have ID . At least not the Ones that they are requesting . I find it odd that in Texas they are allowing you to use your Gun Permit but Not your State Student ID ..... There both issued by the State . The diffrence ? A low income minority is more Likley to have a Student ID than a Gun Permit . BTW how many voter ID fraud cases have There been in The last 10 year ? Less than 20 FACT

    June 26, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. rs

    Funny how the GOP likes smaller government, yet here they are again, making MORE government for a non-existant problem. Sure, the real reason for voter ID laws is to supress voter turn-outs, but that's besides the point, right? Why should the elderly or poor without cars have driver's licenses? Just to vote? How are they going to get them or pay for them? Yup, just the return of Jim Crow laws.

    June 26, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. David

    RLA – They have what Proof do you have ?

    June 26, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "Can someone state a factual reason how requiring ID will restrict voting?
    -----
    Nope. All of the "reasons" are hypothetical. There has not been a voter fraud problem in any state. The statistics of percentage of "alleged" voter fraud are infinitesmal, and alleged does not mean people were found guilty"
    ====

    Indeed. However, to be fair, there are plenty of studies out there showing that these types of laws have a proven, disparate effect on members of certain demographic groups....demographic groups that just happen to be more likley to vote Dem than for GOPers/Teatrolls. Coincidence that GOPers/Teatrolls are inventing magic conspiracy theories of voter fraud sans evidence? I think not.

    And hey, lwhile we're at it, et's just look at our history books shall we? Oh, looky here...the last time people in this country threw a giant hissy fit and pushed voter ID laws it was specifically for the purpose of attenuating minority votes after they were given the right to vote. Coincidence? Again, I think not.

    June 26, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Steve in CT

    Not every adult has a drivers license or picture ID. Many seniors give those up. If states that require an ID issue them when voters register, than there is no problem. Otherwise a phone bill receipt with your name and address should suffice.

    June 26, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. don

    WOW talk about a pol out of touch with his state.

    June 26, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. Arun

    The party that doesn't wan the government to interfere in their lives is the one actually doing all the interfering. The repubes must be stopped before this country becomes a dictorship for the weathly and corporations!!!

    June 26, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Are we going to rig our elections and have Democrats sweep races by having anyone here illegally vote?"

    Considering that it hasn't happened yet and isn't happening without voter ID laws in place, in light of all the evidence that it isn't and hasn't happened, then the answer to your question is quite clearly NO. Grow up and stop inventing wild fantasies about voter fraud just because you see more brown people when you're at the grocery store than you did when you were a kid.

    June 26, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Patriot Awesome

    If the Republicans were so great you would think they would want more people to be able to vote, not less.

    June 26, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. David

    Sniffit

    Here You Go . A Woman in WI has voted In every election since she lived In TN . She was told she needs a State ID . She cant get a ID becuase To have one she needs Orginal Birth Cert . She Is a Old Black Woman that was Born in TN in early 1900's. They didnt give Black People Birth Cert in TN back then ..... 1 Real example need we keep going

    June 26, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Myviewis wrote:

    Voter Supression is just a gimmick, an excuse, fear Democrats created and are hoping it will eliminate voter ID checking. What is wrong with checking IDs?
    ------------------
    Obviously, you are in denial of the words that came out of the man's mouth. The Voter ID laws are a mechanism to help Mitt Romney win. How is that achieved? By reducing the turnout of voters likely to vote for Pres. Obama.

    Technically, there is nothing wrong with checking IDs. The problem is that voter registration cards are not allowed. New York uses a signature verification procedure. You gotta sign the book. Signatures must match. No photo ID required, which itself can be faked.

    June 26, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Bill

    Every American with sensible,decent morals.Black Americans,Latino,Asian,White, "Should use their every effort, "To Vote out these "Radical Right wing extremist (GOP) to He– out of office in November!!! Lets keep America a safe place to live and work!!! Obama 2012

    June 26, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. mike

    "Defending his remark, Turzai's office said the lawmaker was making the point that the new law prevents election fraud and levels the playing field for GOP candidates on the ballot. "

    LOL...i guess they want us to believe that voter fraud is only perpetrated by democrats

    June 26, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
1 2 3 4 5