HARRISBURG — Addressing a crowd of hundreds representing frustrated voters and activists from across the Commonwealth, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams ripped into an oft-stated rationale for the recently enacted and highly controversial voter ID law.
“George Washington didn’t need a voter ID card,” said Williams, who serves as Democratic whip and chair of the state government committee in the state senate. “John Adams didn’t need a voter ID card. Ronald Reagan didn’t need a voter ID card. “If it wasn’t good enough for the Founding Fathers, it’s not good enough for me.”
Williams was among those leading buses to the state capital to raise voices of opposition to the voter ID law, cited as highly partisan and one of the most restrictive in the nation.
The U.S. Justice Department announced that it is investigating concerns that some 750,000 currently eligible Pennsylvanians stand to lose their right to vote as a result of the law, one which the Corbett Administration has had several policy adjustments in its rush to implementation.
The “Rally for Justice” was assembled by a coalition of voter protection advocates from across Pennsylvania, including led by the NAACP. Similar events took place in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allentown.
The event set the stage for opening arguments in the lawsuit lodged by the same group, along with the ACLU, the League of Women Voters and others that are currently being heard in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg.
In addition to his role in the state senate, Williams chairs the Philadelphia United Democratic Ward Leaders of Color and has fought against this type of legislation as far back as 2006. He forecast dire consequences if an injunction to this law is not reached before the November elections, for this and future election cycles.