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State Senate Passes Voter ID Legislation

The Pennsylvania State Senate passed a controversial bill today requiring voters to present photo identification when they cast their ballots.  The final vote was 26-23.

“The Pennsylvania Senate took an important step to promote the integrity of our electoral process by passing critical Voter ID legislation.  The bottom line is that voter ID is a commonsense reform that strengthens a fundamental pillar of our democracy by ensuring that every single vote that is legally cast, legally counts,” PAGOP Chairman Rob Gleason said in a statement after passage of the bill.

The State House approved their own version of a voter ID bill over the summer.  The Senate’s version of the Republican bill would need to be passed again by the House before it could go to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk for a signature.  He has previously expressed support of a voter ID bill, and the House will likely vote on the bill very soon.

Supporters of the bill feel it would help protect against voter fraud and preserve election integrity.  Those who have come out against the bill feel that it would discourage certain groups from voting, such as minorities, the disabled, and the elderly.  Additionally, they feel that there is no evidence of the “voter impersonation” that the bill is attempting to decrease.  Opponents of the voter ID bill include Democrats, AARP, NAACP, and civil liberties supporters.  The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania also opposes the bill, saying that it would create much longer lines on Election Day.

If signed by Corbett, there would be a trial run for the April 24th primary, when voters would be asked to provide photo ID but not turned away if they could not provide it.  Officials hope to have it fully implemented in time for the November general election.  Fifteen other states currently require voter ID at the polls, and similar legislation is pending in many other states.

Many people have vocalized opinions of the bill.  An amendment included in the Senate version adds university ID cards to the list of “acceptable identification” to appease outrage from college students: many vote in Pennsylvania, but have driver’s licenses from their home states.  The Patriot News called the bill’s rules “extreme,” and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the bill is “all about helping Republicans.”

Not all of the opinions that have been expressed have been negative, however.  The Lancaster New Era says the bill “aids the electoral process” by cutting down on many different types of voter fraud.

21 Responses

  1. How can these idiotic Pennsylvania Republicans get away with saying PA will provide “free photo id’s” to people who have been voting for years at their polling places, only after they pay numerous fees to obtain certified copies of birth certificates & other documents? Sounds like a “poll tax” to me which is illegal under the US Constitution.

  2. Thankfully, great as long as it’s implimented correctly. And news flash guys, it IS happening, just not being reported.

    A few years ago, while making phone calls for my party to get people out to vote, you wouldn’t believe the number of times I heard, “Huh”? or “yeah, you can talk to them, but theyre 12 years old”. This one’s even better, “Is Kelly Stewart available”, “Um, there’s a kelly here, but it’s our cat”. Legitimate stories, I made all the calls. After looking these people up in voter vault, surprise, surprise….they were perfect voters, voted in every election.

    And for those who said, I can’t drive, there’s absentee ballots for a reason, you can use those to vote. And for those who said, this is just a way for them to make money by making everyone get a state issued id…there’s a list of multiple ids that can be used….so yeah, you’re wrong about that.

  3. We support this move! Did you hear the story about the woman who tried to vote and was reported dead? She got to vote eventually but photo ID would have hastened the process.

  4. That last one on Bush 2000 was also especially for “CleanupPHilly” and “FightingGranny.”

  5. George W. Bush “Won” Florida in 2000 because his brother Governor Jeb DE-REGISTERED 57,700 Law-Abiding Florida Voters in June of 2000 (5 months Before Election Day) and Didn’t Bother Telling them. More Than Half of Them were Black. They found out on Election Day when they tried to vote and were told No You Can’t. ….. Gov. Jeb and Bush Campaign Chairwoman Katherine Harris had voters De-Registered if their Names were 80% Similar to a list of convicted Florida felons —- and then they Blamed Florida County Election Officials for not Double-Checking 57,770 names ! Leon County was the Only one that double-checked …..95% of its 694 “Felons” had No Criminal Record. The Other 57,076 voters were SOL! ….Jeb Bush & Katherine Harris Belong in Jail. …For Violating the Voting Rights Act.. Also Google the terms: Botched Voter Purge + May 31, 2001 + Washington Post + Robert Pierre; and also James E. Lee + ChoicePoint + Florida 2000. And check the Florida Central Voter File page on WikiPedia for a list of more newspaper articles and info sources — It’s the story that TV News Has Never Reported to This Day!

  6. Hey “Cleanup Philly” and “FightingGranny”: What you call the “ACORN Scandal” was a HOAX perpetrated by the Fox Conservative Channel and Racist Republicans. ACORN was never charged with any crime because 3 different prosecutors’ investigations couldn’t find Proof of any crimes. Mainstream Media Sucks Up to the GOPigs and didn’t find out they were HOAXED till it was Too Late.

  7. The new PA Voter ID bill is Unconstitutional. Requiring people to pay for a Birth Certificate so they can get a state-issued photo I.D. constitutes a “Poll Tax.” The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Forbids Poll Taxes. Millions of Pennsylvanians who live in poverty and have already borderline-given up on voting will now Completely give up on Voting. The new PA “Poll Tax” will make them feel like voting is not worth the trouble, or the strain it puts on their tiny wallets. The PA Republican Dictatorship is designed to create more poor people and the PA Voter ID bill is designed to make poor people Give Up on the system…..thereby increasing the GOPig Dictatorship’s chances for Permanent Control of PA.

  8. I am 61 years old. I have served on my local election board as Inspector. Due to a neck injury I had 20 years ago I can no longer drive. Photo ID has never been a problem for me until now. For the first time in my life, I will not be able to vote, and I have never missed voting in an election. PA does not have a voter fraud problem; this is simply about voter suppression. The PA GOP led legislature is afraid Obama may win re-election. I just want to know how long is it going to take before people have to pay a poll tax. The GOP is trying to take this country back 60 years.

  9. It’s about time this passed. This has been sitting in the Senate for a long time. This will identify the voters; see you at the liquor store where ID is required. Hope this slows down ACORN.

  10. Thank you GOP for passing this bill. It will clean up Philly tremendously. I wish I could thank some of the Democrats as well, but inexplicably, they opposed better, more modern elections. Explain that to me.

  11. Are you Democrats kidding? Did you miss the whole ACORN scandal, where they were committing voter fraud on a national scale? ACORN got caught registering dead people to vote, and creating fake voters to vote.

    States are passing these bills to address this fraud. Where is the outrage about ACORN and the support for this bill, when there was so much outrage about how George Bush won Florida in a cleaner process?

    Hypocrites much?

  12. Of the 12 twelve instances reported by the Republican National Lawyers Association cited above, 4 of “them” appear to be the same person, just reported in 4 different news articles…..Talk about inflating a problem from mole hill to mountain……

  13. The Republican National Lawyers Association did a study of voter fraud across the country. For the time period 1999-2009 they have listed on their website that there were 12 instances of what they call “voter fraud” in Pennsylvania. It’s interesting that a Republican group could only come up with 12 instances over a 10-year period. Spending any money whatsoever on anything that isn’t absolutely necessary in our state budget is fiscally irresponsible. Whether this bill costs $1 million or $11 million, it’s money the state doesn’t have to spend!

  14. One under-reported consequence of this legislation is how it will slow down the voting process. We’re likely to see much longer lines at the polls as poll-workers must check photo IDs and deal with voters who don’t have them, or have an expired ID. This is likely to discourage individuals from waiting, meaning even lower turnout than we have now.

  15. The writer here misses the point about the County Commissioners’ opposition. They oppose it because as the Boards of Election in their respective Counties – THEY DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS TYPE OF FRAUD EXISTS!!! Proponents of this bill can’t cite any evidence of fraud. In fact they can’t counter any of the arguments made by Democratic Senators yesterday. The GOP robots just sat there and said nothing, waiting for their turn to do what they were told. I’m ashamed of Pennsylvania today.

  16. I thought the Republicans ran on jobs, jobs, jobs, why are they wasting time on bills that are taking voters rights away. Ah thats right thats the only way they can win.

  17. If a students has Driver’s license from another state, they should be voting in his/her “home state.” They make absentee ballots for a reason

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