Sen. Leach 'Elated' at Voter ID Decision
The state senator has strongly opposed what he calls a "cynical attempt at voter suppression."
State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery, Delaware) welcomed Tuesday morning's news that a judge had effectively blocked Pennsylvania's voter identification requirement for this year's general election.
Leach had been vocal enough about the new law to gain Internet notoriety in June for his quote: "If you have to stop people voting to win elections, your ideas suck."
On Tuesday, he answered several questions from Patch via email:
His initial reaction when he heard the news: "I was elated. This is a victory not only for the voters of Pennsylvania, but for everyone who fought for civil rights and voting rights for the past 100 years in America. It ends the most cynical attempt at voter suppression we've ever seen in the state where democracy was born."
Whether he was surprised at the ruling: "I've learned after being a litigator for 17 years to always be surprised when a judge does anything, because you just never know. But I do agree with Judge Simpson that there is no way that everyone who needed an ID could have been given one by the election 35 days away."
How much he thinks the ruling could change the landscape of next month's election: "Well, at the very least, the Republicans can no longer count on this law to, in the words of their leadership, 'allow Governor Romney to carry Pennsylvania'. Now the election will be decided by the people, rather than cynical attempts to rig elections by striping voting rights from those who don't vote the 'right' way."
Whether he thinks the law will be in full effect for next year's primary: "Well, the court said they will conduct a full trial on the constitutionality of the very concept of Voter ID. It is my hope that after this trial, the court will strike down the law entirely."
George Badey, a Radnor Township resident and the Democratic candidate for Congress from the 7th District, released this statement:
"I'm glad to hear that the court has acted to protect the right to vote in Pennsylvania. This Republican plan would have disenfranchised an outrageous number of voters, and is completely unnecessary. In court, the GOP could not demonstrate one case of impersonation fraud at the polls. Pat Meehan and his Republican friends have policies that voters do not support - and now they will have to win on the strength of their ideas. With ideas as bad as privatizing Medicare, undermining women's health and reproductive rights, and rewarding companies for shipping jobs overseas that must be a terrifying prospect."
Patch has reached out to Congressman Pat Meehan (R-7) for his statement on the ruling.