State Senator Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) announced Wednesday that he plans to introduce legislation amending the Pennsylvania Constitution to require voters to provide valid identification in order to vote in an election.
If approved, the measure – already approved in the previous session by the House and Senate – would place a proposed amendment on the ballot asking voters if identification should be required at each election.
Laughlin wrote in his co-sponsorship memoranda that “This proposal would help to enhance election integrity and increase voter confidence. It would also add another layer of security to our elections.”
During the height of the “Big Lie” in June 2021, Franklin & Marshall College conducted a poll and found that a large majority of Pennsylvania voters support strengthening the state’s voter ID requirements. According to the poll cited by Laughlin, 74 percent of respondents agree voters should be required to show ID at the polls.
Another F&M poll in May 2022 found that just 26 percent said the one change they would like to see to Pennsylvania’s elections is voter ID. And in August 2020, when posed with the same question, only one percent of respondents said showing ID should be a change made by the legislature.
A total of 35 states have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls.
The remaining 15 states, including Middle Atlantic states such as New York, New Jersey, and Maryland along with D.C., use other methods to verify the identity of voters. Most frequently, other identifying information provided at the polling place, such as a signature, is checked against information on file.
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) says “proponents see increasing requirements for identification as a way to prevent in-person voter impersonation and increase public confidence in the election process. Opponents say there is little fraud of this kind, and the burden on voters unduly restricts the right to vote and imposes unnecessary costs and administrative burdens on elections administrators.”