Voter ID debate helps fuel Trump’s “rigged” election claims
Chris Brenner reports at Philly.com:
And now, an update from the world of – The election is rigged! They’re stealing your vote! Fraud, fraud, everywhere!
The election is not rigged. Your vote has not been stolen. The conspiracy theorists who claim these many frauds still can’t show us any proof.
This, despite claims from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who predicted during a rally in Altoona on Friday that the only way he can lose the vote in Pennsylvania “is if cheating goes on.”
There’s a problem with Trump’s math. We’ll come back to that.
For now, we can report that the conspiracy theorists have to at least tell the truth when making their case in court.
That’s the lesson here for the American Civil Rights Union, a pro-Voter ID group from Virginia that went to federal court last month, accusing the Philadelphia City Commissioners of violating the National Voter Registration Act by not removing from the voting rolls the names of incarcerated felons.
That clearly crossed a line for U.S. District Judge C. Darnell Jones II, who responded a day later by asking the ACRU why it should not be slapped with sanctions for what he called “an incorrect recitation” of federal law.
The ACRU was back in court this month, backpedaling that its claims were “incomplete” but “not inaccurate or dishonest.”
Jones, in an Aug. 5 order, let the ACRU off without sanctions, warning the group that it “should proceed with caution.”
As Jones explained, the City Commissioners, who run Philadelphia’s elections, are allowed to remove the names of incarcerated felons, but federal law does not require it.
This has been a settled issue in Pennsylvania for nearly 16 years, when the state Commonwealth Court ruled that formerly incarcerated felons could vote. Registered voters incarcerated before trial are allowed to vote by absentee ballot. Voters convicted of a felony lose the right to vote while incarcerated. That right is restored upon release.
The City Commissioners, in their latest court filing, ask the judge to make the whole ACRU thing go away. That may happen, because of the whole follow-the-law approach applied here.
But the sort of motivations that drive the ACRU – and Trump – are not going anywhere any time soon.
The group still pushes claims of prevalent in-person voter fraud and advocates for laws requiring voters to show photo identification at polling places. . .