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Entries in Election (2)

Tuesday
Sep182012

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Still in Court Less Than Two Months Before Election

Comstock/Thinkstock(HARRISBURG, Pa.) -- It’s less than two months before the election and Pennsylvania’s voter ID law is still under challenge in the courts.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered a lower court to determine whether voters in Pennsylvania will be able to get IDs -- under the Commonwealth’s controversial voter ID law -- in time for the next election.

The Supreme Court order vacates a lower court decision that upheld the voter ID law, and asks the lower court to “consider whether the procedures being used for deployment of the [identification] cards comport with the requirement of liberal access.”

The lower court is directed to provide a supplemental opinion on the issue by Oct. 2.

It was a 4-2 decision.

Justices Seamus P. McCaffery and Debra Todd dissented from the opinion, saying the court was wrong to remand the case Tuesday for further hearings on whether the Commonwealth can implement the new law without disenfranchising voters. Todd wrote, “Forty-nine days before a Presidential election, the question no longer is whether the Commonwealth can constitutionally implement this law, but whether it has constitutionally implemented it.”

Matthew Keeler, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, said Tuesday, “The law is still in effect. The Department of State is going to continue to reach out to all registered voters and continue to educate them about what IDs are valid and how to go about getting a valid ID if they require one.”

Critics of the law were cautiously optimistic about Tuesday’s decision.

“We’re glad to see that [the] Pennsylvania Supreme Court is taking the actual impact on voters seriously,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis. “Requiring the state to prove the law will not disenfranchise voters is the right step to take. The reports from Pennsylvania already include long lines at the PennDOT offices, confusion and untrained workers giving out misinformation. The law places an insurmountable burden on hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania voters and we are confident that the evidence will demonstrate widespread disenfranchisement. Elections in America should be free, fair and accessible and this law must be stopped in time for the fall elections so that every voter who wants to cast a ballot can do so.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan172012

Wisconsin Governor Recall: Signatures to Be Turned In Tuesday

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MADISON, Wis.) -- After 60 days of fanning out petitions across the state, United Wisconsin, the group organizing the recall effort for Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker, will turn in their gathered signatures to the Government Accountability Board of Wisconsin on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Though the group has yet to release a final signature count -- that number will not be released until they turn in the signatures, United Wisconsin spokeswoman Meagan Mahaffey tells ABC News -- it is widely expected that they will hand-in well over the 540,208 names required to hold a recall election.

In mid-December, 30 days into the 60 days allotted for gathering signatures, United Wisconsin announced that they had already collected 507,533 names. They are aiming to gather over 700,000, as some names are likely to be thrown out during the verification process.

“Tomorrow is going to be a great day for us,” Mike Tate, chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin told ABC News Monday.  “We’re going to hand in a number that we believe will be well beyond any potential challenge from Scott Walker’s campaign.  We’re going to be working hard to make sure that the many numbers of people who signed these petitions are heard and that we have an election.”

After the signatures are turned in the Government Accountability Board will have 60 days to verify the signatures, though they have requested additional time.  Should the GAB verify that United Wisconsin did submit the 540,208 necessary names, Democrats will have six weeks to hold a primary, followed by an additional four weeks until a general election against Gov. Walker would take place.

With these time stipulations in mind, the earliest a recall election would occur is late May 2012.  The timing could be pushed back however, should the board be granted additional time to process signatures, or should any lawsuits be filed on either party's behalf.

The Republican party of Wisconsin has been firmly dismissive of the efforts against Governor Walker, particularly citing the cost to Wisconsin taxpayers should a recall election go forward.

“We have no doubt the Democrats were able to rally their left-wing base around this baseless and expensive recall effort,” writes Ben Sparks, spokesperson for the Republican Party of Wisconsin.  “This shameful recall of the governor will accomplish nothing but saddle Wisconsin taxpayers with over $9 million in un-budgeted costs.  Voters rejected the Democrats’ era of job loss and deficit spending in 2010, and they’ll do it again in 2012.”

There are several established Wisconsin Democrats who have been cited as possible gubernatorial candidates to challenge Walker should the recall go forward; the list includes former Congressman Dave Obey and Congressman Ron Kind.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio