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Mitt Romney's chances of winning Pennsylvania's electoral votes were dealt a serious blow on Friday as a Commonwealth Court judgeissued a permanent injunction against the enforcement of PA's strict voter ID law. In the ruling, Judge Bernard L. McGinley noted that, despite compelling evidence that the law would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of eligible voters, the state did a poor job of explaining why the law was necessary, in the sense that they did not even attempt to do so:


Respondents stipulated that the reason [for the law] was not predicated upon in-person voter fraud, and that there were no specific incidents of voter fraud underlying passage of the Voter ID law.

Oh sure, they expect us to believe that Democrats were winning all those elections because people were legally voting for them.

Judge McGinley's decision does not hold that all laws requiring photo ID to vote are invalid under PA's constitution, just that this particular one, with its burdensome requirements, (deliberately?) misleading public information campaign and epic clusterfuck implementation, created a "substantial threat" to "the franchise of hundreds of thousands of registered electors." The decision will likely be appealed to the State Supreme Court, so get to fraudin' while the fraudin's good.

"But what," you ask, "does some guy at the National Review think of this?" Well, John Fund is sad that the PA law's defenders didn't offer any evidence of voter fraud, because there is so much evidence!

In 2012, Philadelphia city commissioner Al Schmidt, a Republican, issued a 27-page report on irregularities he found in a sample of city precincts during that year’s primary. The report, which looked at only 1 percent of the city’s districts, found cases of double voting, voter impersonation, and voting by non-citizens, as well as 23 people who were not registered to vote but nonetheless voted.

Wow, that 27-page report sounds interesting and readable, let's read it! Hmm, interesting, those "23 people who were not registered" weren't from "only 1 percent of the city's districts," as John Fund states; they were found in "city-wide data." "City" as in "Philadelphia" as in "a lot of people live there." Way to read good and be intellectually honest, John Fund.

This excellent 27-page report also chronicles the saga of Joseph Cheeseboro -- or is it Cheeseborough? -- who represents the sole case of could-be voter impersonation examined in the report. Poor guy apparently lived at a 7-11, and a vacant lot. Why does John Fund want to disenfranchise Joseph Cheeseboro, who isn't even sure if he's actually named Cheeseborough?

Does John Fund even try to articulate a logical reason why anyone would attempt the kind of large-scale in-person fraud sufficient to swing an election, diverting resources from get-out-the-vote efforts and assuming the legal risks of orchestrating a massive conspiracy, when other types of voter fraud are much more promising? No, he does not. Remember when a Wisconsin county "found" 14,000 votes that had been "misplaced"? Doesn't that type of thing worry you more than whatever Joseph Cheeseboro is doing in that voting booth? Congratulations, you are not John Fund.

At any rate, Friday's ruling was in the case of Applewhite V. Commonwealth and can be found here (pdf). The named petitioner, Viviette Applewhite, is amazing -- she marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was a welder during World War II.

We are supposed to end these things with jokes, so "Rand Paul."

Follow Alex on Twitter. It's easier than voting.

[philly.com / ThinkProgress / pilcop.org / NRO / philly.com / techdirt / pilcop.org]

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