Kudos go out to all the people who just didn’t sit on their butts and cry when the Pennsylvania House and Senate passed the Voter ID law.
They all could have accepted the defeated attitude of the glass is half empty, by saying it’s the law and there’s nothing we can do about it.
But they fought it. The ACLU, state NAACP and others locally and across the state fought.
First by challenging the law in court. And even though in the long run they lost, they won for this election, which the law was geared to in the first place. The object was to get President Obama out of office.
Second, even though this was the law, they were not going to accept defeat so they fought to educate the voters. They worked to make sure the voters got all the information they needed in order to vote, with the biggest obstacle being expirations dates on IDs, which would have affected young voters in college, veterans, and seniors the most.
An independent study showed that 75 percent of the colleges and universities in this state did not have expiration dates on their student IDs. And veterans had none, because once a veteran always a veteran. And as far as senior citizens it’s the same. Now I can understand the change of address issue which would affect local races, but believe me people, this law was all about the U.S. Presidential race, so as long as you are an American citizen you should have been able to vote.
The stupidity of the Republican Party is what led to the law eventually being defeated for this election. It’s amazing that it even went to the Pa. Supreme Court in the first place with all the problems in it.
These are supposed to be intelligent people. Didn’t they have studies and research done to find out about the availability of IDs in the first place and the expiration dates being on them across the board, and if not why wasn’t some kind of effort made to correct the problems before the law was passed? Every politician, regardless of party, should care about the Voting Rights of all citizens, and making sure that all citizens have the right to vote and gets to vote. Yet if this had gone down as it was without the challenges many of us would have gotten to the polls and not been able to vote— young people, veterans and many seniors.
But at least that has been corrected and things have gone back to the norm, giving people who really care about the Rights of All Americans to vote time to correct the many flaws in the law so everyone does have an equal chance to vote.
Another problem that needs to be addressed in Pittsburgh is with all the schools being shut down or changed, where do the people go to vote who were voting there. I fear that most people who only vote during presidential elections will get a big surprise when they go to vote and the school is shut down. For example, I have voted at a school right behind my house for 20 years. Well that school was shut down this year, where do I go? I’m going to find out, but most people are not going to think about that because unless they have a child in school they aren’t aware of what schools have closed.
But once again hats off to all the people who showed that things can be changed, if we all work together for that change. The Voter ID law will not hinder people from voting in the upcoming Presidential election. We must now educate.
(Ulish Carter is the managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)