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.

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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. sonny chapman

    Voter Suppression by Rebubs. is further proof that they are not as Patriotic or Religious as they think they are. The Self Proclaimed Christian Repubs. might want to read what Jesus thought of hypocrites; Matthew 23.

    June 26, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  2. Romney is a LIAR

    Too bad people are not outraged about the new voter laws! People this is your fundamental right and it's being taken for granted by this taliban party of Obstructionist!

    June 26, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    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.

    Again, as so many others have stated WHERE WAS THIS "SUDDEN INTEREST" when republicans were in control? Were you illegally living in the U.S. then? Further, YOU have absolutely no credibility whatsover on this subject and you know it. The reality is many republicans just like you are living in constant fear that your man-child is going DOWN in November and you simply can't handle it and all the cheating in the world won't give Willard a victory as the POTUS because he just doesn't have what it takes to run this country and even he has to know it by now.

    June 26, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. JustAO

    If you can't prove that we have had a large number of cases in VOTER FRAUD, then why are you trying to change our voter laws? If it ain't broke, then why try to fix it?

    VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD DOES NOT EQUAL VOTER FRAUD? Just because you can't win the election the normal way Republicans, doesn't mean you have to change the rules.

    June 26, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Myviewis

    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...
    --------------------------–

    Why do you have a problem showing your ID when voting?? I am a US Citizen and I have no problems showing my ID when voting.

    June 26, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. once upon a horse

    why was until the Obama victory in 2008 did the Republicans star this voter ID fraud complaint? I don't recall them going after during both of Bush's terms. I personally have no problem showing my DL when I go vote here in Texas, that is not the issue. But them trying to end early voting,,, programs for voter recruitment in urban and lower income areas, and like here in Texas where a student ID is not accepted but a gun licence is are the type of issues I find peculiar. Plus this has been shown in some states to hurt senior citizens of ALL races asking for things like marriage certificates and .or birth certificates.

    June 26, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. mike

    the more requirements you put in place to vote, the less votes you will get....vote supression.......there is actually very little voter fraud...the republicans would have you believe that there are 100's of 1000's of fraudulent votes that for some strange reason only favor the democrats

    June 26, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. Eddie The Barber

    BIG SUPRISE !! Why is it always a Big Surprise when a Republican comes along and blurts out the TRUTH. We’re just not used to Republicans exposing what they try so damn hard to cover up. They have been lying for so long now – especially their Liar in Chief – Romney – that they actually believe they are telling the truth. They’ve blurred the lines so well that they can’t distinguish what’s real and what’s not, what’s true and what’s a lie. They twist and turn like a snake caught by the tail. And they spin, wobble and bobble like a top. There's no pinning them down. They have a lie for every occasion and if Liar in Chief wins – it’s going to be hell to pay for 4 years – you’ll see.

    June 26, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    This country will not tolerate another "selected" president (George W. Bush). We want an "elected" president so Willard's chances are slim to none.

    June 26, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. California Gary

    It sure gets your attention when a Republican accidently speaks the truth doesn't it? This is not something we didn't already know......we're just stunned to hear one actually admit it.

    June 26, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. Pam from Iowa

    and why will this help Romney Mr Turzai?
    Are you personally going to rig the election??

    June 26, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Myviewis

    Woman In CaliforniaAgain, as so many others have stated WHERE WAS THIS "SUDDEN INTEREST" when republicans were in control? Were you illegally living in the U.S. then? Further, YOU have absolutely no credibility whatsover on this subject and you know it. The reality is many republicans just like you are living in constant fear that your man-child is going DOWN in November and you simply can't handle it and all the cheating in the world won't give Willard a victory as the POTUS because he just doesn't have what it takes to run this country and even he has to know it by now.
    ----------------------–

    Okay, so I am the US Citizen who is okay with showing my ID when I vote and you are the American born who is not okay with showing your ID when you vote. Do I understand you correctly? You are telling me that as a US Citizen I should be against showing my ID to vote? Why?????

    June 26, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Fred

    Well of course voter ID laws are discouraging Democrats. In 2008 Acorn committed over 250,000 counts of voter fraud not to mention voter intimidation, and our taxes payed for it thanks to Obama. Why wouldn't Democrats fear that they can't steal anymore? And don't get me started on the hundreds of thousands of absentee military ballots that they refused to count. God forbid we have honest elections. The best part is hearign them condem dictator nations for doing the same.

    June 26, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. John, PA

    Like the exit polls in Wisconsin that were wrong, the voters; the working people and seniors of Pennsylvania won’t be fooled. The majority of Pennsylvanians see the Democrats, president Obama, the Obama administration as a complete FAILURE. Voter Id laws will ensure no fraud occurs in Pennsylvania.

    June 26, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. The Film Professor

    i got a taste of this when I took my 86 year old mother to get a Photo ID recently, since we convinced her not to drive any more. Officials would not take her expired Driver's License as a Picture ID; they wanted her birth certificate, marriage certificate (!), and two other current Picture ID's. They eventually relented and gave her the ID, but she is white after all. One has to wonder if they are so flexible for non-white people. Republicans could stop a lot more "fraud" if they would just make people vote Absentee Ballot in person and also show an ID, but they won't do this because Absentee Ballot voters tend to vote Republican.

    June 26, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. David

    Myviewis

    See There is The problem . Same Problem all GOP ers have . You have a ID so screw every one else . Selfish . No wonder you guys liked Cains 999 it sounds like Mine Mine Mine ......

    June 26, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    OK, folks. We know the Republicans are not the brightest guys out there, but do they have to continuously reinforce that image with their foot-in-mouth comments? Like the one by one of Romney's chief aides in referring to campaign contributors as "investors" and commenting on their "expected returns".

    June 26, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. Myviewis

    Woman In California

    This country will not tolerate another "selected" president (George W. Bush). We want an "elected" president so Willard's chances are slim to none.
    ------------------------–

    Why does having to show your ID keep you from voting????? So does that mean that you won't shop if you have to show your ID to use your credit card or write a check or you won't cash a check because you are asked to show your ID?????? Are you sure you live in the USA?????

    June 26, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. winky

    Just wait for the debates Williard(flip flopper)can't swindle his way out of anything! Remember Mitty answer the question!

    June 26, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. Voice Crying In the Wilderness

    Let's look at US history. Has there been voter suppression in the past against minorities before? Absolutely! Has there been schemes and plots to win elections? Absolutely! Do we have more honest, upright politicians now than in the past? Absolutely not? Then why should we feel that politicians are acting in good faith?

    June 26, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. SmittyPA

    Will all the "tea party" people please stand and take a bow for being the fools, er, tools of Wall Street. If you are still parroting the talking points that you need photo ID to (fill in) why not show it to vote, you are admitting you've been completely suckered.

    June 26, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. ted

    The GOP really is anti-American on this subject. Everyone is guaranteed a vote under the law. The problem is the GOP doesn't like the law and is trying to circumvent it under the guise of rooting out fraud. If the GOP wanted to root out fraud, then it would put all of its members in line for one of Sarah Palin's death panels.

    June 26, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  23. Fred

    "Thousands of Voter Registration Forms Faked, Officials Say" by the CNN special investigations unit. Witten by Drew Griffen adn Kathleen Johnston, October 9, 2008.

    Take a look at the very special investigation article that prompted the voter ID laws in the first place. It wa even written by CNN.

    June 26, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. ITGUY

    Remember Florida? I am against anyone being denied the right to vote. ANYONE trying to defend this position is dispicable!!! They used to make blacks take a reading test, and throw our votes in the trash. If an old man doesn't have an I.D. card but was a WW2 Vet he can't vote?? Go screw yourselves. This is Voter Supression. Why don't you hold their vote until its verified? Simply denying people is going to be a problem all over the U.S. people are not going to be quiet about this.

    June 26, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. David

    Fred There were no acts of voter Fraud by ACORN . Stop with the Boogie man tactics . What they did was put people in the rolls that didnt exist no ballots were cast on those names . get the facts not Hannity talking points

    June 26, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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