Via Media Matters, CNN anchor Phill Mattingly asks my governor, Josh Shapiro, why he reinstated automatic voter registration without going through the Republicans in the state House. “Why go ahead on your own?” he said.
The governor and former attorney general wasn’t having it.
“I have been very open during my campaign and my time as governor about my belief that we should be an automatic voter registration state. We worked on the process. I’m well within my legal authority. And we put out a process that is secure and safe. It goes through our DMV process, which already includes safeguards to ensure that the person registering to vote is eligible to vote. This is an important way to expand voter participation, which I think, in turn, strengthens our democracy. I am firmly on the side of promoting and protecting our democracy. If there are those who want to make it harder for people to vote, then they’re going to have to account to that. But the bottom line is: I am well within my legal authority. This is good for our democracy. Good for voter participation,” he said.
Then Poppy Harlow asked him if he could respond to (get this!) a tweet from Stephen freaking Miller in which he said, “I can promise you, there will be no citizenship verification.”
“Look, I am not going to respond to Stephen Miller. That guy is a dope who can’t tell the truth,” he said. (Who can argue with that?)
She says she’s asking him about the question “others may raise.”
“Well, he doesn’t raise any substance,” my governor said.
“Here is the actual substance: When you go to get a driver’s license, when you go to renew your driver’s license, you have to bring identifying documents in order to be able to secure that driver’s license, the same documents that are required in order to be able to register to vote. We are relying on a system that already has safeguards built into it to allow someone to be automatically registered to vote. If you choose not to register to vote, if you want to opt out, that’s perfectly fine. But we think we need to make it easier for eligible voters to participate in our democracy, and that’s exactly what our system does here.
And then he put Harlow in her place.
“Listen, Poppy, I went to court more than 40 times to defeat people like Stephen Miller and others who tried to thwart the will of the people here in Pennsylvania, who made up all kinds of ridiculous claims after the 2020 election. And I won every single time in court and defended the will of the people here in Pennsylvania, defended the right to vote. And here in Pennsylvania, we value our freedom, we value our democracy, and voting is central to that. And now it’s easier for eligible voters to have their voices heard here in the Commonwealth.”
“And I think that’s why it’s important for people to hear from you, all the checks that are there,” said Harlow.
Mattingly said it feeds the conspiracy theories. “Now they can say, ‘hey, look, they did this on their own, he did it unilaterally, this is all to kind of, I don’t know, get votes to rig the election.’ And I understand, stipulating that that should not gauge how you operate as governor. However, it is simply a reality of the time we live in, as the response in the last 24 hours has shown.”
In other words, because MAGAts spit something out from their fever dreams, it’s very important to treat them like they’re operating from good faith! Yeah, don’t think so, Phil.
“Phil, respectfully, I think you are just giving their lies too much oxygen,” the governor said.
“Here is what I know happened in Pennsylvania. Not only did I defeat them in court 40 times, not only did we prove that many of their lawyers lied in court and their licenses were stripped away from them because they lied, including Rudy Giuliani, but I put together a coalition of Democrats, Republicans and independents in the 2022 election who said no to extremism, no to lies, and elected me the governor because they wanted me to be able to ensure the continuation of free and fair, safe and secure elections here in the commonwealth.
“This builds on that work we have done. Voter participation is central to our democracy. And those who are standing up trying to make it harder for people to vote, that’s anti-democratic. That’s anti-freedom. And that is not how we do things here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
YOU TELL ‘EM, GOV!