October 19, 2012
What is happening in Pennsylvania is instructive. Democrats are offering suggestions on how to beat the Voter ID law.
Thomas Cavanaugh, a longtime Democratic committeeman in Philadelphia’s Tacony neighborhood, has two words of advice for senior citizens fretting about the state’s new photo ID requirement: absentee ballot.
Though Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law requires anyone showing up at the polls in November to produce an approved photo identification, voters may not need a photo ID if they vote by absentee ballot or by alternative ballot, the term used when the voter is 65 years old or handicapped and has an inaccessible polling place.
It’s a simple solution to a complicated problem, but those ballots could make a close presidential election even more contentious if lawyers begin fighting over their legitimacy.
And the most notorious case of voter fraud since Democrats took over the city in the 1950s revolved around absentee ballots.
Either ballot can be applied for by mail, sent to the voter’s registered address, filled out by the voter, and then sent back to election officials by mail well in advance of the Nov. 6 election.
“It’s going to be a real brouhaha in November – a close presidential election, a big turnout,” said Cavanaugh, 70, a committeeman for 25 of the last 30 years. “If they don’t overturn [the voter ID law], this is going to be one of the biggest sideshows you’re ever going to see in your life.”
So he’s encouraging his seniors to vote by absentee ballot.
Applications for absentee and alternative ballots, as well as detailed descriptions of the new voter ID law, are available on a state-administered website, www.votespa.com, under the heading “Resource Center.”
The eligibility requirements are simple, at least on the surface.
Absentee ballots are available to people who can’t get to their polling places on Election Day because of illness, physical disability, or religious reasons, and to people who expect to be absent because their “duties, occupation, or business require [them] to be elsewhere.”
This is a huge hole that Democrats can use to get dead people to vote. This is why voting by mail or absentee ballots are a disasterous idea. In 22 states, early voting is allowed. In many states, early voting is already underway.
Absentee ballots, except for those on military service, is an anachronism that needs to end. Early voting provides the necessary opportunity for those to vote who want to and cannot vote on election day.
The other thing every state needs is a photo voter ID card. Every industrialized nation has one. Even Mexico uses one. The only excuse for not using one is to make sure fraud is an option to win.