Most of the time, when Republican policymakers talk about voter-ID laws, they maintain the pretense that the measures are only intended to prevent imaginary voter fraud. "No, we're not trying to disenfranchise the constituencies that traditionally vote Democratic," they say. "That's just a coincidental byproduct of our nonpartisan proposals."
But once in a while, Republicans slip up and concede what everyone already knows to be true.
Politics PA's Kelly Cernetich published this report earlier on Pennsylvania Republican Party's state committee meeting, held over the weekend.
House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) suggested that the House's end game in passing the Voter ID law was to benefit the GOP politically.
"We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we've talked about for years," said Turzai in a speech to committee members Saturday. He mentioned the law among a laundry list of accomplishments made by the GOP-run legislature.
"Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it's done. First pro-life legislation -- abortion facility regulations -- in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done."
The Republicans in attendance cheered, and I suppose that's to be expected -- the disenfranchisement of traditional Democratic voters is bound to make Republicans applaud.
But but the state lawmaker's candor was a reminder that Pennsylvania's voter-ID law isn't about the integrity of the process; it's about ensuring Republican victories by rigging the game.
State Sen. Daylin Leach, a Democratic critic of voter ID, told Cernetich, "This is making clear to everyone what Voter ID was all about. This is about one thing: disenfranchising Democratic voters and rigging elections for Republicans. When they get behind closed doors, they admit it. And that's exactly what Turzai did."