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State can't fix lazy people says Pa. lawmaker on voter ID - abc27 WHTM

State can't fix lazy people says Pa. lawmaker on voter ID

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Pennsylvania House Representative Daryl Metcalfe's "lazy" comments on a Pittsburgh radio station may have stirred the voter ID pot once again.

On KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh Wednesday morning, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler County) discussed a new Pa. law that requires all voters to show a valid photo ID at the polls. When asked about the 750,000 possible disenfranchised voters without proper photo identification, Metcalfe responded:

"As Mitt Romney said, 40-some percent of the people that are living off the public dole, living off their neighbors' hard work, and we have a lot of people out there that are too lazy to get up and get out there and get the id they need. If individuals are too lazy, the state can't fix that."

Since making the statement, Metcalfe has received some harsh criticism from Democrats who contend the issue is bigger than laziness. Those opposed to the law argue that requiring voters to obtain proper photo identification could infringes on a person's right to vote.

Critics argue that the law negatively impacts mainly elderly and minority voters who traditionally vote Democratic. They said, the law is a strategy to help Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney win November's general election.

Romney is under fire this week after a video surfaced of him speaking at a private fundraiser, saying "47% of the country" will never "take personal responsibility and take care of their lives."

As Metcalfe affirmed Romney's comments, many national Republicans removed themselves from negative press.

Pennsylvania GOP Executive Director Mike Barley would not directly comment on Metcalfe's radio comments and said any political punches were simply the daily fight.

"I think the issue [has] somewhat been trumped up a little bit by the other side because its politics," said Barley. "That's what happens in partisan politics. But, at the end of the day I think you want to vote and need an ID, there's plenty of opportunities to get it."

Midstate resident Robin Terry had a different view.

"He fails to realize that there are a lot of elderly people who cannot get out there and get ID like that," said Terry. "And, they have no birth certificate."

Terry added most elderly people who must prove they are American citizens have a tough time locating the documents that would prove they can legally vote in this country.

"[Elderly] can't find their birth certificate sometimes…[t]hey can't get ID," said Terry. "It's not that they're lazy."

Cameron Norris believes Metcalfe's comments should not even make headlines.

"I think it should be a non-issue because it's not that hard to get a photo identification," said Norris.

On Thursday, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson will review the voter ID law again. Earlier this week, Pennsylvania's Supreme Court sent the decision back down to lower courts to discuss accessibility of obtaining valid photo IDs.

In other words, can voters easily receive proper identification? Or, are they easy to obtain and voters are, like Metcalfe surmised, simply 'lazy'?

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