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Some within labor believe voter ID ads are deceiving


NOVEMBER 2012 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Some within labor believe voter ID ads are deceiving


REGION, October 19th- On October 2nd Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson blocked the state’s voter identification requirement from going into effect on Election Day, November 6th, but some members of the labor community believe Pennsylvania is continuing to place advertisements that suggest voters still need ID’s.

Judge Simpson said in his ruling that he was concerned by Pennsylvania’s efforts in making sure voters would be able to get a photo identification and would not rely on the assurances of Republican government officials that every voter would be able to get a valid identification.

The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) in Harrisburg called on Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett to immediately begin a new public education campaign which will clearly and accurately inform all voters that the requirement of showing a valid ID has been delayed and will not be required to vote on November 6th.

“We applaud Judge Simpson for delaying full implementation of the act; however, it is critical that the Department of State immediately inform all voters of the changes based upon Judge Simpson’s decision,” stated Rick Bloomingdale, Presidert of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

Judge Simpson’s ruling will allow the law to go into full effect in 2013, through he could still decide to issue a permanent injunction as part of the legal challenge to the photo idenification law constitutionality.

Pennsylvania has spend millions of dollars on an advertising campaign on television, radio, billboards and mailing about to new photo identification requirement.

However, Pennsylvania is continuing to place advertisements suggesting voters should still bring identification to the polls on November 6th.

Rosemary Boland, President of the Scranton Federation of Teachers (SFT) Union, which is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in Washington DC, stated taxpayer paid advertisements regarding the blocked voter identification law is deceiving because people are told to still bring identification to the polls. The SFT represent teachers of the Scranton School District.

Ms. Boland also feels the Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation, the Democratic party or both, should place their own advertisements in newspapers and/or radio stations stating identification is not needed on November 6th.

“There is no question the ads are confusing and a attempt to get people to not vote,” stated Ms. Boland.

The photo identification law was mostly supported by Republican party members and they cited the reason for the legislation was because of “voter fraud.” However, according to studies the problem is not an issue.

From 2002 to 2007 the Bush Administration ordered its United States Attorney Generals in every state to look for and prosecute cases of voter fraud. Only 120 people were charged nationwide, with just 86 convictions out of 300 million votes cast nationwide.

Roxanne Pauline, Field Representative of the Northeastern Labor Federation (ALF), said people need to know that Pennsylvania voters are no longer required to show a photo ID in order to vote and you may be asked to show your ID at your polling place but is it not required to vote.

Ms. Pauline agreeds with Ms. Boland’s opinion regarding Pennsylvania’s advertisements for the November 6th election. “They should be running ads that state plainly, no photo ID is needed,” she stated.

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