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Judicial Watch Files Amicus Curiae Brief for State Legislators in Support of Pennsylvania Voter ID Law

Four months to go before Election Day and Judicial Watch’s battle for election integrity continues in full force.  

On July 17, 2012, we filed an amicus curiae brief with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in support of HB 934, a voter identification measure signed into law by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett on March 14, 2012. The ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against the law on behalf of various individuals, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and allied groups.

We jointly filed this brief with Pennsylvania Attorney L. Theodore Hopp Jr. on behalf of Pennsylvania Rep. Daryl Metcalf and members of the Pennsylvania legislature who supported the bill. Rep. Metcalf was the author and driving force behind the bill. Nearly half of the members who supported the bill are signed on to the Judicial Watch amicus.

You would think, given the response by the ACLU and NAACP, that the Pennsylvania law is a monstrous invasion of voting rights. But this claim is nothing more than political posturing and it has no basis in reality. Pennsylvania House Bill 934 is a simple, commonsense provision that maintains the integrity of every vote.

The law requires voters to produce a Pennsylvania driver’s license or another government-issued photo ID, such as a U.S. passport, military ID, or county/municipal employee ID when voting. If a prospective voter does not have a valid ID, the law requires the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to provide one at no cost.

(In other words, the law asks voters to do no more than is required to board an airplane, use a credit card or open a Netflix account.)

Even if a voter shows up at the polling station without a valid ID, the law still protects their right to vote by allowing the individual without identification to cast a “provisional” ballot that will be counted if the identity of the voter can be indisputably ascertained within six business days of the election.

Here’s a brief squib from Judicial Watch’s amicus curiae brief:

In passing HB 934, the legislature did no more than exercise its sound discretion and create a commonsense regulatory scheme to secure free and equal elections. The legislature undoubtedly had such authority and used it accordingly.

In addition, because the legislature has the discretion to enact laws regulating elections, the courts must not overturn the policy choices of the legislative branch unless the legislature acts with gross abuse…In using its authority [the legislature] has not caused anyone to be disenfranchised, it has maintained and promoted free and equal elections, and it has not expanded upon the qualifications set forth in the Pennsylvania Constitution.

A trial over the legal challenge to the voter ID law is scheduled to begin on July 25, 2012.

“Voter photo identification is a commonsense safeguard that will ensure that legitimately cast votes are not canceled out by the forces of corruption,” said Pennsylvania State Representative Daryl Metcalfe in a statement to the press. “Implementation of HB 934 will restore integrity to Pennsylvania’s election process, because one fraudulently cast vote is one too many.”

As you may recall, Judicial Watch has been involved in supporting the Pennsylvania Voter ID law for some time. JW Attorney Michael Bekesha testified on March 21, 2011, before the State Government Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, that the bill was a good way for Pennsylvania “to ensure fair elections for its citizens.” Bekesha also testified that the bill followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s specifications.

Judicial Watch also filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on June 1, 2012, against the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) to obtain records detailing the agency’s communications with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which was reportedly a driving force behind the legal challenge to HB 934.

This is no fishing expedition. We know the Obama DOJ is partnering with leftist groups. Judicial Watch previously obtained documents from the Obama DOJ showing that the agency worked with the ACLU to mount their respective legal challenges to SB 1070, Arizona’s illegal immigration enforcement law recently upheld, in part, by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Overall, the Obama DOJ has been horribly compromised by its partnerships with radical and corrupt organizations, from Project Vote to La Raza. The DOJ has sadly become not much more than a legal battering ram for seemingly every major leftist special interest group in the country. And this influence is most definitely having an impact, most notably on the issue of election integrity.

(Look no further than the Obama administration lawsuit filed against Florida over its efforts to take to steps to try to remove non-citizen voters from the rolls and the legal actions against Texas and South Carolina over their voter ID laws. Now it’s quite possible that Pennsylvania can be added to this list.)

With its 2012 Election Integrity Project, Judicial Watch intends to make certain states take action to clean up voter registration lists in accordance with the law. On June 11, 2012, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit in partnership with True the Vote against election officials in the State of Indiana alleging violations of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Specifically the lawsuit maintains that Indiana election officials have failed to maintain clean voter registration lists and make records related to voter registration list maintenance available as required by Section 8 of the NVRA.

On June 26, 2012, Judicial Watch also filedMotion for Intervention with its client True the Vote to defend the State of Florida’s efforts to clean up voter registration lists against an Obama DOJ lawsuit.

Judicial Watch neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office. We are adamant that the election process must be clean and fair. The Left is now blaming us for recent moves by states to clean up their rolls to protect election integrity. We are happy to accept “blame” for clean elections, removing dead people from the rolls, and preventing corrupt politicians from stealing elections!  More investigations and lawsuits are planned, so stay tuned.

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