PHILADELPHIA, August 15, 2012 – State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, Democratic whip and Democratic chair of the state government committee, offered this reaction to the Commonwealth Court ruling that upheld the contentious voter ID law:
“To say I’m disappointed, even disgusted, would be a considerable understatement. The slow erosion of rights never bodes well for a society’s health, and that’s evident throughout history. And to be clear, this ruling represents an erasure of rights.
“Today, law-abiding citizens have been told that in order for them to exercise what is supposed to be their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights, they will have to spend extra money and time – then hope for the best.
“Judge Simpson seemed to signify that he’s more interested in potential hardships on the state than on voters, that he wasn’t ‘convinced any qualified elector need be disenfranchised’ by this law. In his opinion, this law ‘imposes only a limited burden on voters’ rights.’
“Any burden, even one instance of voter disenfranchisement, is a blemish on the Constitution that we all claim to hold dear. If one looks at the body of law, it has always been about inclusion, making sure it’s easier for people participate. This ruling effectively says that in this country, in this state, where democracy as we know it and have revered it was born, some people just don’t count.
“As an American, that’s disheartening – and disturbing.”
Williams said he and other members of the state Senate Democratic caucus will pursue an appeal in the state Supreme Court.