Letter to the Editor: Mattiacci Calls Voter ID Law 'Common Sense'

Republican candidate for the 153rd Legislative District Nick Mattiacci weighs in on the Voter ID delay


To the editor:

[The preliminary injunction of the voter ID law] is disappointing because the voter ID law is a common sense measure that will ensure the integrity of our elections, but it's clear that the Pennsylvania Department of State, PennDOT and the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners have done everything they could to accommodate people who are in need of a photo ID. However, I am pleased that the long term outcome is that photo ID will be a requirement in future elections.


Nick Mattiacci

Elkins Park

Marc Lombardi October 03, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Is there more to this letter that is missing? Or did Mr. Mattiacci only have two sentences worth of an opinion to offer on the matter? Couldn't he have posted this one one of the various discussions regarding the issue already on Patch?
Nick Mattiacci October 03, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Marc: Originally, Mischa had requested a quote or statement from me for a story he was working on. I will gladly turn this into a full opinion editorial. As a Paisan, as I'm sure you can relate, I am not a man of such few words! Thanks for your inquiry.
Marc Lombardi October 03, 2012 at 11:51 AM
The only problem with the Internet is that it makes it that much more difficult for us Italians to talk with our hands (except for the typing part). We agree on the need for a voter ID law. I guess I'm not as disappointed as you are since I felt that instituting the law at this juncture was moving way too fast. As I had mentioned in previous "threads" on the matter -- it seems like the government was much more helpful in the planning and forthcoming in assitance when Cable & TV networks switched over from analog to digital than the PA Govt. was with the new ID law. The way things were being pushed through with such clear support by the GOP was really making it hard to believe this was meant for anything other than voter disenfranchisement. I would love to hear more of your thoughts on this -- even if they're only here in the comments.
Nick Mattiacci October 03, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I would have liked to see the legislation written so that it provided for, pardon my expression, more "liberal" access to obtain photo ID and I applaud the efforts of the Department of State and the County Commissioners for that. Through my campaign I have offered alternatives like making it easier to apply by mail or roving penndot vehicles that travel to senior centers. So, now I ask you, since the law has been put on hold and now will not be required for at least another 8 months which would be over a year and a half since the laws implementation, does the disenfranchisement argument still hold water. What I am getting at is this; is this just another law where legislators draw the partisan line and refuse to move closer to the middle to alleviate both sides concerns. If both sides would have done that in the beginning, a lot of these issues could have been avoided.
Thomas Jefferson October 03, 2012 at 03:12 PM
The the law is unnecessary and a waste of time. If fraud is such an issue, surely the Commonwealth would have records indicating as such. Instead, this was released by the State prior to the challenge to the law: There have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; The parties are unaware of any incidents of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania and do not have direct personal knowledge of in-person voter fraud elsewhere; Respondents [Commonwealth of Pennsylvania] will not offer any evidence or argument that in-person voter fraud is likely to occur in November 2012 in the absence of the photo ID law. This entire effort is driven by party politics and is entirely disingenuous.
Victor B. Krievins October 03, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Well stated Nick!. Looking forward to your levelheadedness when you become our next State Rep!
Nick Mattiacci October 03, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Thomas: So then I am left to conclude that you are against the ordinance that Abington Township passed within the past year making it a crime to discriminate against gay, lesbian and transgender. One of the biggest issues when passing that local law was that there were no incidents or reports of said discrimination in Abington Township and further, I will use the term "disenfranchisement" for the sake of argument, but that organizations like Red Cross or other religious insitutions could be disenfranchised from performing their good work because of this law. Now, I don't have a problem with the passage of this law, do you?
chris October 03, 2012 at 03:55 PM
@Nick Mattiacci Very good response. I also love how liberals keep claiming there is no voter fraud, yet many districts in PA had more votes than registered voters in that district. Yet.. they claim there is no problems with the voting system. If you are required to show ID to withdraw money from a bank, cash a check at a bank, open a bank account, obtain a JOB and pay taxes, collect welfare, collect SS, open a library account, board a airplane.... i can sit here all day... What is the problem with proving who you are to vote? People claim.. oh I cant get an ID because i dont have "my most important documents"... Really? Is it our systems problem you are NOT responsible enough to keep your birth certificate and SSN card? Some say their background is all messed up and dont have SS... well regardless of voting.. this is something that person needs to fix ANYWAY!!
Thomas Jefferson October 03, 2012 at 04:55 PM
The ordinance was essentially a clarification on the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, even if it wasn't passed, that Act would still be in effect. Instead of trying to conflate the issue with another disparate issue, just address the question at hand. The point of the Voter ID law is to prevent fraud, yet the Commonwealth shows no reports of fraud and there has been nothing submitted which shows it is an issue. Explain why this law is necessary. You can claim it's about the "integrity" of elections, but that was never a question until now!
Marc Lombardi October 04, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Nick (can I call you Nick?): I think that the additional time of at least another 8 months (and another trial run during the General election next month) is enough time to make sure that voter disenfranchisement is eliminated or kept to the barest possible minimum. The problem is, neither side budged. The GOP leadership wanted this in place for November to help Romney win. The Democratic leadership wanted it pushed back so everyone could vote in November as they would have in any other year. This postponement is a loss for the GOP -- no doubt about it. But it also is an eventual loss for the Democrats who have to man up and just make sure that their constituents are properly registered and now have all of the proper ID. Will this stop all forms of fraud? Probably not. Will this even stop the intended form of fraud? Who knows? But it can't hurt.
Steven Kline October 04, 2012 at 11:43 AM
I can not allow Mr. Mattiacci to incorrectly tie two issue together to support his position on the issue of Voter ID. The Voter ID law, passed along party lines, does not create any further enforcement of voter fraud than was already part of state and federal law, other than that associated with fraudulent Voter ID's. State and federal laws already had avenues for officials to prosecute those who are accused of committing voter fraud. The fact that there have been very few cases of voter fraud is irrelevant. The fact remains that the Voter ID law did nothing to increase the state or federal government's ability to go after people committing voter fraud. The Abington Human Relations Ordinance affords residence of the township protection not provided by the state's human relations act. Unlike voter fraud, if someone is gay or lesbian and is discriminated against for employment or any public accommodation they would have no legal avenue to pursue because state law does not afford them the same rights as those discriminated against for race, religion, gender, etc. While this may be an acceptable atmosphere for Mr. Mattiacci it was not acceptable to a bipartisan group of Abington Commissioners. Read the Abington Ordinance before making false statements and please do not insult the electorate by trying to link two issues that are unrelated, both of which expose your flawed candidacy.
Nick Mattiacci October 04, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Steve: Not surprisingly, you have completely took my statement and twisted it to support your agenda. "While this may be an acceptable atmosphere for Mr. Mattiacci" come one Steve, that is completely uncalled for and an absolute contradiction to what I said which was I support the discrimination law, you obviously feel the need to skew my statement to make you own partisan argument. Obviously, the point you missed was about the similarities between the passage of the laws rationale against and not its content, ie. there were no specific instances of this type of discrimination reported, Abington already has No Place for Hate, the law has the potential to negatively impact the Red Cross or religious institutions from performing their work. These rationals also represent the same complaints to Voter ID. Maybe if you reread the post without your mind made up about what you wanted to write about me would help. Finally you yourself have stated on this website that you are not opposed to Voter ID, just the timing of it specifically the time requirements which in your opinion was partisan. Well Steve, timing no longer seems to be an issue so I would imagine you now support the law or was that just more rhetoric from a flawed commissioner.
Steven Kline October 04, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Oh, I read your post carefully. There are no similarities, as you have tried to explain, between the justification for the two laws regarding enforcement. Of course there have been no reported cases of discrimination against gay and lesbian Abington residents because there is no legal avenue for them seek a remedy because state law does not protect them and others. On the flip side, voter fraud is against state and federal law (without the enactment of the Voter ID law) and if there are accusations of voter fraud they could be prosecuted under theses laws. You are trying to justify your support for the Voter ID law and its implementation by claiming the same merits existed for the passage of the Abington Human Relations Ordinance, when in fact that is not true. Also, as I mentioned in my previous post, your interpretation of the Abington Ordinance is flawed. Organization like the Red Cross and religious organizations are exempt, in large part, from the terms of the ordinance. And any terms they are subjected to would have no affect on them performing their work. And yes, I have no problem with the idea of registered and eligible voters showing ID at the polls. My problem has always been timing and implementation. It seems that my concerns were shared by the court.
Victor B. Krievins October 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Well stated Nick. Steve Kline has once again distorted the known truth. He has done so once again in his usual didactic manner.
Steven Kline October 04, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Oh, I read you posting and it is clear you do not understand the differences. There are no reported cases of discrimination of gay and lesbian Abington residents because the state law does not afford them any means to adjudicate a complaint therefore there is no one or no entity, including No Place for Hate, to report an incident. Now through the action of a bipartisan group of Abington Commissioners they have protections and a all volunteer human relations commission that can assist in these matters. Voter fraud is covered by current state and federal laws and incidents of voter fraud can be reported with or without the Voter ID law. However, even with these laws in place for many years the frequency of voter fraud is staggeringly low. On another note, organization such as the Red Cross and religious institutions are exempt from a large portion of the Abington Human Relations Ordinance and those parts they are subjected to will not effect their ability to provide the work and services they provide. Please read the ordinance so that you are better informed. No rhetoric Nick, just facts. I can't stand to waste time with rhetoric when so many on both sides have attempted to distort the facts on many issues. Many worked on the Abington Human Relations Ordinance (D's & R's) to have it's significance diminished by being part of the Voter ID discussion. Pick something else.
Steven Kline October 04, 2012 at 06:05 PM
And Nick, I stand by what I said in previous article posting. I do not have an issue with the requirement to show photo ID in order to vote. I also stand by my comments questioning the state's motivation, timing and implementation. It would seem the court(s) agree with my concerns.
Nick Mattiacci October 04, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Steve, no rhetoric or distorting the facts huh, see your previous post where you state “While this may be an acceptable atmosphere for Mr. Mattiacci” this is clearly not supported by the facts. Further, there was no correlation made between the two laws, only the similarities between the arguments against. I’d be happy to have a conversation with you regarding this topic. You don’t have to agree with them and I don’t need you to attempt to explain the law or its application, I get that just fine. I welcome respectful debate; it suits you better, it is important to ensure people are informed about the issues that face our township, district and state. Thanks Steve.
Steven Kline October 04, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Nick, If you are telling me that you support the passage of the Abington Human Relation Ordinance and would support an expansion of the protected classes, to include those added in the Abington ordinance, in the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, then I stand corrected and for that I apologize. Hopefully now you understand that there are no similarities between the arguments against each of these topics. And I do feel I need to explain the ordinance because too many times the facts of the ordinance were misstated and misleading which led to false assumptions and consequences.


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