Pennsylvania lawmaker sparks fire over voter ID comment
June 26th, 2012
11:44 AM ET
10 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 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. Andrew

    Any time i hear republicans whining about voter fraud it makes me sick.
    Bush survived two elections thanks to voter fraud.
    2000: Gore announced as winner of Florida and 15 minutes later, votes suddently disappear (in a state run by Bush's brother). 2004: Ohio voters are not allowed to cast votes in rural areas because of the long lines, even though anyone in line before the polls close is supposed to get to vote.
    Both times, Bush squeaked through, where that one state would have lost him the election.

    June 26, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. End the Obama Dictatorship in November

    Sounds like the Democrats will be losing all of their illegal voters now that IDs will be checked. Why do Democrats fear elections where only living, breathing legal citizens can vote? Tells everybody why they want to keep millions of illegal aliens in this country. Their vote vote combined with the dead vote can easily give the Democrats any election. Looks like your little election fraud gig is coming to an end in a lot of states Democrats.

    Just more of the same reckless disregard for our laws by the leftist Democrats....

    June 26, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. 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. Expect ore of this from the GOP over the next 20 years as Hispanic populations grow beyond their control. They know they don't have a majority and their numbers dwindle at the same rate as the middle class dwindles.

    June 26, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The quest for power and to be a member of the "good old boys club" these Republicans will say and do anything to be accepted in that club. This man is ignorant as well as repulsive and there won't be one Republican to disclaim him, in fact they will give him that "good old boy pat on the back". He even looks ignorant and off balance.

    June 26, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. Robert JM

    While were talking about this voter / immigrant / race "ID tag" potential maybe we need a collar, a tattoo and an imbedded ID tag for people who would be politicians (limited to natural born Republicans of course) that they must have stamped, blessed and Democratric authenticated dog tags AND that they have an IQ over 100 before they are allowed to speak in public / hold office or get married. Why do things half a-- get right to the NAZI model and do your self proud Republicans! Of course they would need a tax break right ? Ha!

    June 26, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Luke Brown

    The guy was just being honest. The only reason Republicans are pushing the Voter ID law is to reduce the number of people of color, people with disabilities, and old people from voting for Democrats.

    I voted in the Republican Presidential primary in my state this year ... and no one asked for a Photo ID.

    June 26, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. scmom

    Exactly, he said it right. Big assumption that only people who tend to vote democrat commit voter fraud. These so called voter fraud laws are being used to stop people from voting. Somebody will always tell the truth about what actually is going on. Example, turtle faced Mcconnell telling the big secret about making President Obama a one term president. The idiots really didn't mean for it to come out.

    June 26, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. DAK2742

    Surprise, surprise. A Republican putting party ahead of country. What a shock!

    June 26, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Woman In California

    No surprise here. We all know this "sudden interest" in voter ID and fraud was carefully calculated to suppress minority votes and help Willard with yet another failed campaign run. This idiot Turzai' was just not smart enough to keep his ignorant mouth shut about it but thanks, for reaffirming what most of us knew already and that is republicans are so desperate to steal this election they will bend completely over and sell their already lost souls to the devil.

    Obama 2012 ALL the way.

    June 26, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. King

    why is this dem surprise at voter suppression. the rrpubs have 65 percent of white voters, including the all powerful one percenters. of course they will try and make the other side impossible to vote. hey dems even though you only have 35 percent of the white votes, and a bunch of minority blacks and Hispanics, you still have the internet to comnat the party with all the news outlet. the only news outlet we've got is MSNBC., CNN is mutual, so we have to take to the streets.

    June 26, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. End the Obama Dictatorship in November

    Jeff in San Diego - They know they don't have a majority and their numbers dwindle at the same rate as the middle class dwindles.
    But I thought they were the party of the rich and the Democrats were the party middle class? Or is it the Republicans are the party of the working middleclass legal citizens and the Democrats are the party of the minorities, government dependents, illegal aliens and criminals? Yeah, that's far more accurate.

    June 26, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    The Democrats are just preparing excuses for why Obama will not carry PA in November. Are they really giving up so early?

    June 26, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Some of you are so funny. Practically everyone who is old enough to vote has a Driver's License, with their picture on it! So the Voter ID thing is a Red Herring democrat Talking Point to get you riled up. Some of you are so easy! You probably voted for Obama, who promised you the moon, on somebody elses dime! You know, Tax to Rich out of existance. Tax you out of a job. A really good plan.

    Andrew! After all the votes were counted in Florida Bush had the most votes! After the recount Bush had the most votes! After all the Liberal Newspapers went thru the election, with a fine tooth comb, Guess who had the most votes?

    there is going to be an election in November. Guess who is going to win?

    June 26, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Linda

    Voter ID is a GOP's scandelous hook by crook tactic to suppress legal voters. This subject needs more media attention for public exposure.

    June 26, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. rs

    Just more proof the GOP doesn't plan to win on ideas, values, or even popularity. They intend to win by making it harder for the poor, the elderly and minorities to vote. They intend to win by hurting the democratic process, i.e. by cheating.

    June 26, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. End the Obama Dictatorship in November

    King - so we have to take to the streets.
    Yeah you do that clown because it worked sooo well in Wisconsin! The rest of us will all just wait until November, go to the polls, proudly show our IDs and then vote to rid this country of its first leftist dictatorship. November can't get here fast enough.

    June 26, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. Jayson

    The same Democrats who have no problem with the government controlling what we can or cannot eat have no qualms with something like verifying someone's identity at the polling place.....

    June 26, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. kimberly

    EVERYONE knows that Florida is commiting voter fraud, and in my opinion, they should NOT be allowed to vote at all!!! They should reap what they sew! They voted this criminal into office, and should have to pay for it with their right to vote! WHY is this man allowed to do this. Obama needs to get him OUT OF OFFICE!

    June 26, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. Prometheus

    It was just a matter of time before some idiot Republican lawmaker would blurt out the obvious, but it ain't going to work especially now that many Americans are sick and tired of the GOP's policy of obstruction. They can't stop us from voting and no matter how many cowardly attempts they try they will fail.

    June 26, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. J Russ

    Can someone state a factual reason how requiring ID will restrict voting?

    June 26, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Levi

    I don't get how Democrats are upset that Republicans want to limit the people voting in elections to only be legal citizens of this country. That should go without question.

    June 26, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    Freudian slips are dangerous things. He's just lucky he didn't go so far as to admit it's all about keeping minorities from the polls.

    June 26, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. Dennis

    Soi Dems are ok with letting anyone who walks in vote? If we have to prove who we are and if we can drink, smoke, drive a car and not prove we are eligible to VOTE?

    So Dems want to have anyone vote even if they shouldn't be? Do we have to prove who we are to get welfare, Social Security, Medicare? No wonder fraud is so rampant in this country. If we don't have Civil Responsibility everyone's civil rights will disappear.

    June 26, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    J Russ

    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. Most of the fraud cases involve offiicials, not the voters, anyway. And most of the officials committing fraud are Republicans. This is a solution looking for a problem.

    June 26, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, NOT a third term of BUSH's years of FAILURE

    The Republican state representative only echoed what we knew all along.

    Rmoney cannot win without voter suppression, especially in Florida.

    The GOP has realized that Super PAC millions from the Koch brothers and foreign donors cannot guarantee Rmoney a win.

    June 26, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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