New Voter ID Smear Hits DNC Convention
Some right-wingers have taken particular issue with the Democratic National Convention’s website today. Specifically, text that says photo identification is required to attend the private gathering. “All pickup persons must have a state-issued ID that matched the name submitted below,” it reads. Similarly, a photo has been spread around the web showing a poster that reads: “Attention All Delegates: Photo ID is required for credential pick up. Please have photo ID out and ready.”
Go ahead and guess what they’re mad about.
‘Since Democrats are requiring identification for this, why are they against identification at the polls?’ smug Republicans are asking. That’s the echoing reaction to the DNC’s so-called “rules.” But this argument is not new. During the voter-ID battle, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai noted on the floor that he needed to show ID to get into his pool club and to do a number of other things—so why not voting? At the time, Philly Rep. Babette Josephs called this the “What’s the big deal?” argument, then noted: “Nobody died for a pack of smokes [or] the right to buy a drink.”
Seeing the reaction was a winner, Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason put out a statement calling an ID requirement at the DNC “the height of hypocrisy.”
“The sensational arguments that Democrats have been making against Voter ID simply lose all credibility in this one Twitter photo,” he said. “It is hard to fathom that Democrats are more concerned about protecting their convention than protecting the integrity of Pennsylvania’s election but the fact the implementation of their own “Voter ID” in Charlotte proves it. While just another example of “Do As I Say, Not As I Do,” it also reminds us that it’s time to stop these ridiculous scare tactics. When will the Democrats stop cultivating a culture of fear around voting this election and simply join with us in helping to protect the sanctity of the ballot for all voters?”
Oddly, the same argument made on the Pennsylvania House floor could be made here. The DNC is a private event and the Democratic Party has every right to require identification at the door. The point of the voter-ID controversy, too, is that certain groups of Americans were being unfairly discriminated against, which is why the Department of Justice recently blocked the law in Texas, a state that is subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Unless there’s been a mix-up, we’re pretty sure the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., is not subject to Section 5 of the VRA. The DNC is not trying to trample on a certain group of Americans’ right to vote, either. But whatever.
Gleason’s appeal to the pro-Voter ID sect of the GOP is especially timely. An appeal of the Pennsylvania voter-ID law, which was held up in Commonwealth Court, will begin on Thursday, Sept. 13, at Philadelphia City Hall. Additionally, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania has filed a brief that says the Court made errors in the original ruling.
“The Commonwealth Court also committed legal error by refusing to hold that voting is a fundamental right, applying instead a novel “substantial degree of deference/gross abuse” standard,” said the ACLU of PA in a statement. “The court acknowledged that under the fundamental-right standard the result may have been different.”
The court will respond to the brief on Friday.