Rendell says: Stop screwing around

“TO THE HONORABLE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA: I am returning House Bill 1318 without my approval.

Elements of this bill will cause significant interference with the fundamental right to vote and violate the U. S. Constitution as well as Article I, Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which states: ‘Elections shall be free and equal; and no power civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.’ I, therefore, must veto this legislation.”

Quoting letters from the AARP and League of Women Voters and refuting claims that a veto of the bill would allow for voter fraud, Governor Rendell made appearances in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, today, in order to publicly veto HB 1318. Rendell called attention to the large segments of the population that could be disenfranchised by this bill, particularly poor people, people of color, the elderly and those displaced from their homes. He also told the Pennsylvania General Assembly to “stop screwing around” with the voting rights of the military, calling the provisions in HB 1318 inadequate and pointing to House Bill 544 for a more comprehensive solution.

Today, both the Philadelphia Daily News and the Harrisburg Patriot-News published editorials critical of HB 1318.