October 5, 2012
WHILE TUESDAY'S decision to postpone enforcement of the recently enacted voter-ID law may have momentarily halted efforts to keep the disenfranchised from voting, we, the religious leaders from more than 20 congregations in Northwest Philadelphia and members of the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement community, are joining together to express our shared belief that the voter-ID law constitutes voter suppression. It is immoral and needs to be overcome. In our view, the new voter-ID law enacted by the state Legislature in March for implementation in the Nov. 6 election will suppress voter participation, representing a threat to hard-earned gains made in voter rights over the past several decades.
September 14, 2012 |
About 200 opponents of Pennsylvania's new voter ID law staged a protest across from Philadelphia's City Hall in advance of today's state Supreme Court hearing on the law. The justices are holding the hearing in the Supreme Court's City Hall courtroom. Protesters carried signs saying, "All Our Votes Must Count," "Supreme Court, Overturn This Act," and "Say No to Voter ID Schemes" at the hour-long rally organized by the NAACP, Philadelphia Neighborhood Network, MoveOn.org, and the Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition.
August 25, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Most Americans say go ahead and raise taxes if it will save Social Security benefits for future generations. And raise the retirement age, if necessary. Both options are preferable to cutting monthly benefits, even for people who are years away from applying for them. Those are the findings of an Associated Press-GfK poll on public attitudes toward the nation's largest federal program. Social Security is facing serious long-term financial problems. When given a choice on how to fix them, 53 percent of adults said they would rather raise taxes than cut benefits for future generations, according to the poll.
July 26, 2012 |
In 1964, the American people enacted the 24th Amendment to prevent the exclusion of the poor from the ballot box. In his recent speech at the NAACP convention, U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. wasn't indulging in election-year rhetoric when he condemned Texas' 2011 voter-identification law as a poll tax that could exclude the poor. He was speaking the hard legal truth. The Justice Department would be right to challenge this new law as an unconstitutional poll tax. The department has temporarily blocked the Texas law under special provisions of the Voting Rights Act that apply to jurisdictions, mostly in the South, with a history of discriminating against minority groups.
April 25, 2012 |
If you want to rile a New Jersey resident, two words will do it: property taxes. Most state residents — 89 percent of the 800 registered voters surveyed in early April by the state's Realtors, according to the poll's results — maintain that property taxes are too high, but they are less united about proposals to lower them. "Property taxes continue to be a major concern, even ahead of the economy and jobs," said Joe Goode, senior vice president of American Strategies, who has been conducting the poll for the New Jersey Association of Realtors for the last five years.
March 21, 2012 |
The queues were long at PennDot's Center City motor vehicle office Wednesday as prospective voters lined up for free photo IDs, promised as part of a new state law requiring voters to show identification at the polls. A provision in the law, which takes effect for the November election, allows applicants to have the $13.50 ID fee waived if they sign an affidavit affirming that the card is only to be used for voting. Lying in that affidavit could bring a two-year prison term.
March 13, 2012
Here's hoping that expected legal challenges of a requirement that Pennsylvania voters show photo identification at the polls will occur before the ink is dry on Gov. Corbett's signature on legislation racing through Harrisburg. A Wisconsin judge has halted implementation of that state's voter identification law before its April primary, responding to an NAACP lawsuit that contends voters without driver's licenses are "disproportionately elderly, indigent, or members of a racial minority.
March 13, 2012 |
Is it just me or does Pennsylvania House Bill 934, the voter-suppression, I mean, voter-identification law, feel oppressively like a modern-day poll tax? Today, the House is expected to pass the bill, which would require that every voter produce a government-issued photo identification at the polls. Gov. Corbett can't wait to sign it - just in time for the November election. Hmmm. A law supposedly written to safeguard against unproven voter fraud smells like obstructionist trickery to me. It wasn't that long ago that African Americans were subjected to a series of voter-suppression tactics that prevented them from even registering in the Jim Crow South.
December 11, 2011 |
NEW YORK - The Pennsylvania legislature may have only a week left before its winter break, but its members are nonetheless trying to cram in debate on a number of high-profile - and controversial - bills. School vouchers, redistricting, a Marcellus Shale impact fee, and voter ID are among the measures the two chambers will consider. "It's going to be a busy week," House Speaker Sam Smith (R., Jefferson) said Saturday. "Will we get it all done? I don't know. " Smith said that there were still attempts to work out a deal on a natural gas extraction fee - and that if no action is taken before Gov. Corbett's budget address in February, the measure was in danger of getting mired on the legislative sideline.
May 23, 2011
By Robert M. Brandon Last week's relatively problem-free Pennsylvania primary was the latest to demonstrate that requiring photo identification at the polls is a solution in search of a problem. People simply don't risk prison time to impersonate other voters. In 2008, more than six million Pennsylvanians went to the polls for the presidential election, and only four were charged with misrepresentation. So why did the House State Government Committee recently approve a bill to require photo ID of Pennsylvania voters, a program that would cost more than $11 million to initiate and millions more to run each year?