More than 2,000 people have signed a petition created by an area teacher urging Allegheny County's elections manager not to enforce the new statewide voter ID law.
mandates that each voter present a valid photo ID on election day at the polls, a stipulation that opponents have said will ultimately prevent the poor, the elderly, and people of color in Pennsylvania from voting.
"These demographic groups typically lean Democratic and local state Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny County, '" petition organizer Steven Singer said in a statement. "The law is purportedly intended to prevent voter fraud, a problem that representatives from both parties have acknowledged doesn’t really exist in the state."
Singer’s petition will directly challenge the elections manager for Allegheny County, Mark Wolosik, to reject the new law, and to the full extent of his legal authority, refuse to enforce it.
“As a middle school teacher in a district with a large segment of minority and poor residents, many of my students’ parents will be directly affected by this new law,” Singer explained. “This confusing and discriminatory law could prevent up to 758,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania from casting their ballot come Election Day and I couldn’t sit back and watch that happen.”
The petition includes signatures and testimonies from other Pennsylvanians who are concerned "about the chaos" this new law might foster on Election Day and others who are "outraged that their loved ones might now be shut out from their polling places."
One Pittsburgh resident who signed the petition lamented: “My 88 year-old mother can’t find her birth certificate and has no dated photo ID.”
Singer, of White Oak, is no stranger to citizen advocacy.
He is also the co-founder of the group Tell Everyone All Cuts Hurt, known as T.E.A.C.H., which was organized more than two years ago to protest cuts to K-12 education funding in the state.
To read the full petition, click here.