At a Republican State Committee meeting in Pennsylvania this weekend, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R) said that passing a voter ID law would help Mitt Romney win the state in the upcoming presidential election.
“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done,” Turzai said, describing the accomplishments of the Pennsylvania legislature.
The new law requires voters in the state to present a government-issued photo ID when they cast ballots in federal, state and local elections.
The voter ID law has come under fire from civil rights groups and Democrats, who claim the laws make it harder for poor, elderly, disabled, and minority voters to cast a ballot. In May, the NAACP and ACLU filed a lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania on behalf of a 93-year-old grandmother who has been unable to obtain a government-issued photo ID, and therefore unable to vote.
Pennsylvania Democrats said Turzai’s comment showed that the voter ID laws were really about suppressing Democratic votes.
“Mike Turzai’s admission that Voter ID only serves the partisan interests of his party should be shocking, but unfortunately it isn’t,” Pennsylvania Democrats spokesman Mark Nicastre told PoliticsPA. “Democrats are focused on protecting Pennsylvanians’ rights to vote, and we are working hard to ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote can vote this fall.”
But Turzai insists he was only talking about preventing voter fraud, implying that it was a crime committed on behalf of Democrats.
“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,” Turzai spokesman Stephen Miskin told PoliticsPA. “Anyone looking further into it has their own agenda.”
Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Wisconsin have also implemented voter ID laws, many of which are currently facing legal challenges.
[Image via Jenn Grover, Creative Commons licensed]