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Sat Aug 18, 2012, 11:50 AM

Man denied free voter ID in Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh DMV is not giving free voter ID, contrary to federal law. Specifically, the DMV supervisor who refused to give it to me is named Dana Nash. This happened today (8/17/2012) at 10AM at the DMV located at 708 Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. My original intention was just to change my driver's license to a PA license, and I brought all the many required ID and residency forms plus cash and a credit card. I followed the instructions on the DMV website, but it turns out they forgot to mention only checks or money orders were acceptable. That's not a big deal, the main thing is I wanted to make sure to have ID to vote with for the November election. So then I tried to get at least free state ID while I was at the DMV, because I want to vote. I was told I cannot get free state ID, because my driver's license is still valid in another state. They won't change the driver's license for free, and they won't give me a state ID for free, even though I have all the ID and I am renting an apartment here and have all the proof (rental agreement, Verizon bill to the address, and all the forms of ID they require). He told me that people who want free voter IDs have to come back to that DMV office on August 27th, when they will start giving out a state ID that will be valid ONLY for voting purposes (and they are not accepting applications until that date). Their DMV website says nothing about separate voting IDs only starting to be given out on August 27th. I already had to take my whole morning off of work (bike+bus to the DMV, wait to be served, wait for them to decide what to do with my request for free voter ID, then bike+bus to work), and now according to him I should go back on August 27th... except that he also said I wasn't eligible because I have a valid driver's license. According to the DMV website, I shouldn't have to wait until August 27th and have to return and waste more time - I should have been able to get my free state ID for voting TODAY. While I was waiting there, I spoke with a man there was helping his father, who wanted a free voter ID but was told he had to pay $13 for it (and he did). Someone needs to fix this, because clearly the law about not having to pay to vote is NOT being followed.

I ran across this on the Daily Kos. Seems they are using some discrepancy having to do with out-of-state license. What government official does this need to come to the attention of?

24 replies, 4722 views

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Man denied free voter ID in Pittsburgh (Original post)
Pat Riot Aug 2012 OP
drm604 Aug 2012 #1
LineLineReply +
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #4
Raster Aug 2012 #10
Curmudgeoness Aug 2012 #20
Raster Aug 2012 #21
Ednahilda Aug 2012 #2
drm604 Aug 2012 #7
Ednahilda Aug 2012 #19
enough Aug 2012 #3
Cooley Hurd Aug 2012 #5
ProfessionalLeftist Aug 2012 #6
elleng Aug 2012 #11
ProfessionalLeftist Aug 2012 #16
kooljerk666 Aug 2012 #22
pasto76 Aug 2012 #8
drm604 Aug 2012 #14
lastlib Aug 2012 #9
Courtesy Flush Aug 2012 #12
freeandequalpa Aug 2012 #13
chknltl Aug 2012 #15
SoapBox Aug 2012 #17
rgbecker Aug 2012 #18
HopeHoops Aug 2012 #23
am4truth Oct 2012 #24

Response to Pat Riot (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 12:05 PM

1. It's going according to plan.

Make a complicated law, then sit back and allow bureaucratic red tape to discourage people from voting. This is exactly what they intended.

Here's the DKos link: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/17/1121432/-I-was-denied-free-voter-ID-today-Pennsylvania

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Response to drm604 (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 12:30 PM

4. +

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Response to drm604 (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 02:25 PM

10. I never ceased to be amazed at what lengths the rethuglicans will go to prevent legal American...

....citizens from exercising their democratic right to vote.

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Response to Raster (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 08:45 PM

20. They know that they have to cheat to win.

They have to go to extremes because there is no way that they can win in a fair race. Sigh.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #20)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 10:58 AM

21. Democrats spend time and money to get people to the polls and enable as many as possible to vote.

The rethuglicans, on the other hand, spend their time and capital trying to prevent as many as possible from casting their ballot.

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Response to Pat Riot (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 12:09 PM

2. I don't know anything about the driver's license issue,

but having lived in Pennsylvania I can tell you what your first mistake was: you assumed that anything in the Commonwealth operates according to the basic laws of common sense and efficiency. Silly you!

You're probably not going to get through to the workers at the DMV, so I strongly suggest you contact either/both your State representative and State senator, especially if one or both is/are Democratic. Their office/s ought to provide some constituent service on this. I'd also spill the beans on the uncooperative DMV office and employee. Maybe shaming a few of them will force the rest of them to do what they're supposed to. In fact, I'd not only complain about this to my representative, but I'd also send a certified (snail) mail letter directly to the person in charge of the whole PA DMV. You don't need to be nasty, just let him/her know what happened and that you expect them to see to it that all DMV offices follow the law, as odious as that law may be. I've had remarkable success with certified letters and I always get a response. For extra emphasis, pay the extra bit and specify that it is restricted delivery. That way only the person to whom it's addressed or his/her agent can sign for it, not just some mail room worker.

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Response to Ednahilda (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 01:07 PM

7. How many people will go to the trouble?

Your suggestions are certainly worthwhile and welcome, but they also illustrate the problem. How many people will bother with all of that and how many will just say "The hell with it. It's not worth the aggravation"? Some may not even have the money for a certified letter.

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Response to drm604 (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 07:18 PM

19. I suspect a lot of people won't bother

and that's exactly what the Republicans are counting on. This is why it's important for the people who are able to make a really big stink about it, do so. I agree that the cost of a certified letter is a barrier to some people, but a phone call to your state representative or senator is fairly cheap and might get some results. At the very least, it'll let them know that somebody is paying attention and doesn't like what's going on. And if my representative did nothing about my dilemma I'd contact my local newspaper, especially if my unhelpful representative were Republican.

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Response to Pat Riot (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 12:31 PM

5. That is a motherfucking POLL TAX!!!!

I’m gonna tell you fascists
You may be surprised
The people in this world
Are getting organized
You’re bound to lose
You fascists bound to lose

Race hatred cannot stop us
This one thing we know
Your poll tax and Jim Crow
And greed has got to go
You’re bound to lose
You fascists bound to lose.

All of you fascists bound to lose:
I said, all of you fascists bound to lose:
Yes sir, all of you fascists bound to lose:
You’re bound to lose! You fascists:
Bound to lose!

People of every color
Marching side to side
Marching ‘cross these fields
Where a million fascists dies
You’re bound to lose
You fascists bound to lose!

I’m going into this battle
And take my union gun
We’ll end this world of slavery
Before this battle’s won
You’re bound to lose
You fascists bound to lose!

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Response to Pat Riot (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 12:36 PM

6. I'd send this to the DOJ - civil rights division/voting section

They need to know about this POLL TAX.

http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 02:26 PM

11. AND NYT, Philly Enquirer, WSJ, Forbes,

LATimes, WaPo, etc etc etc, twitter, facebook, ACLU, GO VIRAL!

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Response to elleng (Reply #11)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 04:39 PM

16. Absolutely. Send it EVERYWHERE.

We should also ask the DOJ to have the UN election monitoring team start NOW to evaluate the preparation, execution, and tallying of our upcoming election, and to have DOJ strike down or delay until after the election ALL voter suppression laws.

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 11:20 AM

22. I sent this to DOJ voting rights and here is what I got back.....

 

This is what i sent...

Please look at attached link. A man went to DMV to get license. Told we take no cash

Man sez I want a free voter ID.

DMV manager sez get lost.


I hope this is enough stop PA law for 2 years or so. Time enough for everyone in the state to get up to speed.
Seeing as we have no Voter Fraud in PA ever, this should be handled under RICO.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10742243


Have a nice day, break up the banks & lock up wall street

Jay *&)&*^%$$^s


And this is what I got back
BTW it was sent on Aug 18 A SATURDAY!!

My reply came back on saturday

Voting Section (CRT) (Voting.Section@usdoj.gov)
Sent: Sat 8/18/12 2:18 PM



Thank you for your correspondence.


If you are seeking to make a new submission of a voting change for
administrative review by the Attorney General, information sent to this
address will not initiate the statutory 60-day review period. Please go
to the Voting Section's homepage <http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot>
for further information.



What ever that means.....!!??

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Response to Pat Riot (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 02:10 PM

8. voter suppression is fucked up. However, reading this account, Im not so sure this is it

the writer is putting almost his/her entire complaint on the DMV website "not saying" this or that. I know we live currently in the internet age, but websites are hardly infallible. Wondering if this person filed a formal complaint, spoke with a supervisor, made any phone calls to DMV or the city of pittsburgh...or just posted on the interwebs. In the event that this is some suppression, at least it's loose documentation is widely distributed.


-10 points for putting someone's name in the article.

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 03:02 PM

14. But that's the whole point isn't it?

Pass a complicated law and then allow confusion and red tape to do it's work.

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Response to Pat Riot (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 02:24 PM

9. This is where this damn law goes down!

Please, God, let the courts kill this law, before somebody gets hurt!

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Response to Pat Riot (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 02:44 PM

12. Why is DOJ not all over this shit? nt

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Response to Pat Riot (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 03:01 PM

13. Here is what the law says

Last edited Sat Aug 18, 2012, 03:56 PM - Edit history (1)

"Notwithstanding the provisions of 75 Pa.C.S. § 1510(b) (relating to issuance and content of driver's license) to the contrary, the Department of Transportation shall issue an identification card described in 75 Pa.C.S. § 1510(b) at no cost to any registered elector who has made application therefor and has included with the completed application a statement signed by the elector declaring under oath or affirmation that the elector does not possess proof of identification as defined in section 102(z.5)(2) and requires proof of identification for voting purposes."

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/US/HTM/2012/0/0018..HTM

The voter who posted this story "does not possess proof of identification as defined in section 102(z.5)(2)" -- because his out-of-state drivers' license is not acceptable ID to vote in PA -- and "require proof of identification for voting purposes." So the refusal to issue him a free photo ID card strikes me as a clear violation of the law.

I bet the PennDOT supervisor would argue that this voter is not entitled to the free photo ID card because he CAN get a PA driver's license (in fact, that is what he went to PennDOT to get) and, therefore, does not "require" the free ID to vote, but that reading of the statute would be quite a stretch, IMHO.

As for the card that will be available on August 27 -- that is the new voting-only ID card that the Commonwealth created when it realized it likely would lose the lawsuit if it didn't (in fact, Judge Simpson relied heavily on the Commonwealth's promise to issue this new card in refusing to enjoin the law). The voting-only card is not supposed to replace the free non-drivers' photo ID card. Rather, the voting-only card is supposed to be available only to voters who demonstrate that they have attempted to but cannot obtain a copy of their birth certificate. I will bet you if this voter goes back on August 27 and attempts to get the voting-only card, PennDOT will refuse to give it to him because he cannot demonstrate that he cannot obtain a copy of his birth certificate.

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Response to Pat Riot (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 03:22 PM

15. Fellow DUer Brad Friedman of Bradblog

Brad Friedman has been doing great work documenting and alerting the public about the GOP's various voter fraud tactics. I suspect he will want to know about this and he may be able to point you in the right direction.

I looked for contact info at Bradblog which produced this:

Brad@BradBlog.com

and one might be able to contact him here in the DU as well, (he occasionally posts here but I am not sure how often he checks his inbox).

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Response to Pat Riot (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 05:10 PM

17. Wow...it all seems just criminal. nt

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Response to Pat Riot (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 07:02 PM

18. This is the most depressing thing I've read.

I see the articles about "Voter ID" requirements and understood that they were to keep people from voting, but to hear exactly how it all plays out really hit home. In the 60's it was "We shall overcome some day" but I fear that day is still to come.

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Response to Pat Riot (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:11 AM

23. Good luck with the state government. It's a GOP cess pool.

 

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Response to Pat Riot (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 06:38 PM

24. changed license from NY to Pa. & registered to vote with DMV

I registered to vote through the DMV when I transferred my license from NY to Pa. in April 2012. I just checked and I am not listed as a registered voter. Could this be human error at the DMV? or possible corruption?

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