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North Penn Politicos React to PA Voter ID Ruling

Republican and Democratic representatives from the North Penn region share their opinions on the court's ruling to halt the Pennsylvania Voter ID Law before the November election

The Voter ID Law delay today means citizens are free to vote on Nov. 6 without identification. They can still be asked to show identification at the polls, like in the Primary, but can vote without it.

Furthermore, an appeal on the GOP side of the issue is possible.

Even with the ruling, the debate continues between Republicans and advocates of voter's rights.

Debbie Zitin, head of the Montgomery Township Democratic Committee, said she is thrilled with the ruling. Yet, Zitin holds reservations about the appeal.

“I hope it’s too late to do anything about that,” Zitin said.

Zitin organizes people to cover eight polling districts in the township, on top of working the polls on Election Day.

“I am really happy,” she said. “The new law would have been a nightmare for the people working inside the polls and for the people working outside trying to help the voters.”

Zitin said there is “no legitimate reason” for the law, other than disenfranchising voters.

“This is 2012 — not 1912,” Zitin said.

She said Pennsylvania already has some of the most archaic voting laws.

“In the state of Washington, you can vote by mail,” she said. “Now that makes the most sense.”

Lansdale Mayor Andy Szekely is disappointed with the ruling.

“Recently, Al Schmidt, one of the commissioners of the City of Philadelphia, issued a report detailing the voting irregularities in the 2012 Primary in Philadelphia,” Szekely said. “In several precincts in the city in the last election cycle, races were very close. In fact, close enough that as little as a few votes determined the outcome.”

Szekely said that is troubling.

“While it may be a bit of an inconvenience to have to get an ID to vote, I believe that it is a small price to pay to have the privilege to vote,” he said.

Voter ID, he said, protects his vote.

“My vote, and your vote and everyone else’s vote,” he said.

Will Sylianteng, who is running against Republican Todd Stephens for the Pennsylvania 151st District in November, commends the Supreme Court and Commonwealth Court for their halts to the law — at least for 2012.

“It is clear that the courts recognized that the Voter ID Law was rushed through the Legislature by my opponent and his colleagues in order to suppress Democratic votes,” he said.

He said Stephens and legislators like him should not attempt to manipulate the law for their own political gains, all the while not be diligent in protecting a precious right.

“I urge the people of the 151st to choose a new way forward,” Sylianteng said.
Lansdale Democratic Committee Chairman Jack Hansen said the ruling is a win for all the people.

“All can vote for their choice for President,” he said. “I’m not discounting all the other elections, but most people are concentrating their attention on the Presidential race.”

Hansen expects the courts to refocus attention to the law and its aspects, and in the end, overturn it.

“Any law that violates peoples’ rights is a bad law, and voting is a right,” he said. “I enjoy my right to vote. I hope all the hubbub over this law gets more people excited, and they register to vote, and they exercise that right in every election.”

Other GOP and Democratic representatives from the North Penn region were contacted for comment. Their responses will be added to this story once received by Patch.

worldpeace2013 October 03, 2012 at 11:27 AM
makes so much sense to do this AFTER the election!! why now must this be done??? Also in PA there have been zero cases against voter ID fraud.... WASTE OF $
Kathleen Hoynes October 03, 2012 at 01:35 PM
!00% correct worldpeace2013!
Kathleen Hoynes November 02, 2012 at 02:10 AM
"Zitin said there is “no legitimate reason” for the law, other than disenfranchising voters." I hope the Lansdale mayor is voted OUT when he comes up for re election! What an idiot! There has never been a documented example of voter fraud in this whole state. Much old wives tales, which we know are false, and nothing concrete at all. I worked for many years at a PA polling place, and never had an issue we could not resolve easily. Some voters come with ID and their voting card, which is issued by the state. Either should be enough, but then,they have to sign in, and the poll worker can tell if the signature is not the same and ask for ID if necessary, but never had this happened. If someone is a new voter in a District they are asked for ID, then their signature ( as all new voters are, ie newly 18 yr olds, or new to district). So many checks are already in place, it's crazy to disenfranchise the elderly, or others who do not drive, and so, do not have a picture ID. So obviously a political move, and sad they would resort to such tactics!! I am disgusted.

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