A lot of people (mostly Democrats) believe that the national push for voter ID laws is a partisan effort to give Republilcan candidates an edge in close elections, and as I wrote a while back, I’ve never heard a persuasive argument that requiring identification at polls addresses any real problem with voter fraud.
Well, over the weekend, the Republican Majority Leader of the Pennsylvania State House, Mike Turzai, told a crowd at a meeting of the Republican State Committee that voter ID in Pennsylvania “is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” (see video above).
State Sen. Daylin Leach, a Montgomery County Democrat and leading critic of the voter ID law, told Capitolwire Turzai was caught in a moment of honesty. “The problem is that he was telling the truth and he forgot we live in the age of YouTube,” Leach said.
Turzai has a defense in noting that he said the new law would “allow” Romney to win, becuase many Republicans have long said they want voter ID just so they can get a fair fight. They say they get clipped year after year in places like Philadelphia where Democratic party bosses are skilled at stealing votes.
I’ve heard this stuff much more in private conversations than public statements. And when arguing for voter ID laws, you didn’t hear them talking about a partisan impact. Which is why Turzai touting the advantage for Republicans is news.
Turzai’s spokesman Steve Miskin told PoliticsPa that “Rep. Turzai was speaking at a partisan, political event. He was simply referencing, for the first time in a long while, the Republican Presidential candidate will be on a more even keel thanks to Voter ID.”
To Capitolwire, Turzai added, “People say partisan things…what did you want him to say, ‘Go Obama’? It was a comment to the Republican State Committee. Obviously he was playing to a crowd.”