Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Judge’s Rejection of Challenge to Pennsylvania Voter Identification Law

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–August 15, 2012.  The AFL-CIO strongly disagrees with the judge’s decision to reject the challenge to Pennsylvania’s voter identification law.  It’s crystal clear who is behind these laws and why they want them passed.  The Republican Majority Leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives illustrated that so directly — saying that the voter ID law “is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” 

These laws are being pushed for partisan reasons to disenfranchise particular groups of voters.  They are cynical and wrong, and they undermine our democracy.

According to a study by the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice, one in 10 eligible voters – overwhelmingly the elderly, minorities, students and new citizens — lack a government-issued photo ID and could be disenfranchised under these new voter suppression laws.  And a comprehensive new report finds that the supposed voter fraud that sponsors of these laws hide behind as an excuse for suppressing the vote is “virtually non-existent.”

Given these facts, the judge’s ruling that disenfranchisement in Pennsylvania is neither “immediate” nor “inevitable” defies reality.  The ruling should be quickly reversed on appeal.