State Law Requires Photo ID to Vote

The law requires voters to present photo identification at the polls, starting with a test run at next month's primary.

Gov. Tom Corbett on Wednesday night signed into law legislation that will require voters to present identification at the polls.

The legislation requires each voter to present proof of identification at every election, beginning with a test-run during the April 24 primary. Voters will be asked to provide photo ID for the primary, but will still be allowed to vote if they don’t have it.

Those who do not have a photo ID will be able to acquire one at no charge from the . The nearest photo center in this area is at the Chartiers Valley Shopping Center.

Information on the process and what is needed to get a photo ID can be found at http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/voter/voteridlaw.shtml.

Matthew Keeler, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, said they don't expect delays from additional stress placed on the photo license center because of additional people who will need identification.

“At this point, we knew going forward this would happen,” Keeler said. “We don’t foresee any issues.”

Proponents of the bill, such as House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny County, praised the law, saying it will “strengthen voter identification and enfranchise all voters.” According to Turzai, a uniform voter identification requirement “assures all voters will be treated equally and fairly and will prevent some voters from being singled out for identification while other voters are allowed to vote without identifying themselves.”

But state , D-Cecil Township, disagreed. White voted no on the bill saying that several flaws with the legislation jumped out during floor debate.

He pointed to an issue of disabled veterans and their identification. He said because of technical requirements in the legislation regarding acceptable forms of identification, the type now issued to disabled veterans “would not qualify under the bill.”

“It could actually have the unintended consequence of disenfranchising voters who fought and shed blood for our country,” he said.

White added: "Voting is a fundamental, constitutional right, and if we're going to do anything that infringes on that right, we need to make sure no one will be disenfranchised. This bill fails at that spectacularly."

And he said that while proponents of the bill have said the legislation "isn't about the 2012 election, the fact the majority rammed it through after acknowledging that there were flaws certainly makes you wonder whether this was more about politics than policy."

This story originally appeared on Canon-Mac Patch

Mike Jones (Editor) March 16, 2012 at 06:18 PM
How do you feel about the new photo ID requirement to vote? Do you even care?
Roger March 17, 2012 at 01:07 AM
I will give you a good example of how easy it is to bypass the no-ID rule. Our son grew up in the township and registered to vote, He voted a few times before he left the area after college. When my wife and I went to the polls, his name remained next to ours for years, five years at least, most likely longer. All I needed to do was go to the poll, sign the register, vote, and leave. Then, when new poll workers staff the station, I return, claim his name, sign, vote, and leave. This is one example of a very obvious way to vote twice in the same election, without having to show an ID. Stop already with the hardship reasoning! Getting a photo ID seems like an extremely small price to pay for the right of voting. I am baffled why it is taken so long for the change. And, I see many other states are imposing the same provisions (regardless of what Eric Holder tells Texas - never stand up). [posted previously at CM Patch]
Mike Jones (Editor) March 17, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Roger... Then why didn't you use your son's voter registration to cast a second ballot?
Roger March 17, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Mike, not right to do so -- no more complex, no simpler. However, it always struck me as being a large hole in the system when I went to vote. Had I been required to produce an ID, any ill-intended action would not have been possible. Oh yes, ... I guess I could have had false ID as well. Even third-world countries use a hand stamp to insure that nobody votes twice. We just get a sticker, "I voted."
Mike Jones (Editor) March 17, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Maybe you just solved the problem, Roger. Why not just dip our fingers in purple ink like the Iraqis did? In fact, that probably was our idea. I think the one safety net to the current system is our wonderful poll workers. They know me and I know them. I'm sure someone would recognize me if I returned later to vote again.
Tom W. March 17, 2012 at 10:26 PM
I don't understand what the big deal is to show a picture ID is. The Democrat's say it will alianate the poor and ethnic. What there are no poor ethnic republicans? The rules are the same for everyone. Mike your comment about the the poll workers is true for a small community like ours, but what about cities like Pittsburgh their is no way that te poll workers can know everyone. The ink is a great solution. I don't know how any body can complain about that.
ExpatBurghGal March 18, 2012 at 06:23 AM
The poor and ethnic argument seems kind of flimsy. A Pennsylvania State ID is currently $13.50, whether acquiring it for the first time or renewing/replacing. I believe that like a driver's license it is replaced every 4 years. That breaks down to less than 29 cents per month over the card's validity period. It just doesn't seem to fit together. Are we concerned, perhaps, about restricting voting to legal US citizens? Or is it that we need to create a government subsidy and sliding fee scale for state ID cards now too? I thought voting had rules for a reason...
Mike Jones (Editor) March 18, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I don't think the cost is the problem as much as the ability to obtain the proper paperwork to get the photo ID. I know where my birth certificate is, but how many other people -- especially senior citizens -- know where it is? How about their Social Security card? My mom told me yesterday she doesn't know where hers is. You need both of those, plus two proofs of residence, such as lease agreements, current utility bills, mortgage documents, W-2 form, tax records. Then you have to get to the DMV for your photo. For someone who doesn't have a car, I guess they could find a relative to drive them there. Or they could take public transit, although PAT and SEPTA are being gutted as we speak. And there aren't very many public transit options in rural areas. Here's the link to the PennDOT photo ID requirements... http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/voter/voteridlaw.shtml
Roger March 18, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Mike, I think you have built the case FOR the ID. EVERYBODY should know where their birth certificate resides, where the Social Security card resides, and the other documents you mention. The implementation of the voter ID law can serve a very good purpose, if only to get people to get their important documents located. Having these documents in hand is an important part of being a responsible citizen, and for the sake of heirs should somebody pass. I do believe that seniors must supply their Social Security card, and birth certificate in order to sign up for Medicare and benefits. So, these should be in hand from other recent needs.
Mike Jones (Editor) March 19, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Roger... Birth certificates and Social Security cards are assigned at birth. So what happens if your parents aren't so careful to keep them? What happens if you lose them? The point of this legislation is not that illegals vote, but that people aren't voting more than once. Medicare, credit cards, flying, driving and drinking aren't written into the Constitution. They aren't rights. But voting is.
Tom W. March 19, 2012 at 02:58 AM
How does that same person get a job with out a social or or birth cert. That is the point, every one should have these documents. Every one needs them to file for unemployment, go to school, ect.. As for losing the documents you apply for new ones like I did when I lost my SS card in the ocean. It is also the law to be an American citizen to vote. Any law / ID can have dual a purpose. This law is not stopping any one from voting. There is plenty of time from now to the Presidential election to get proper ID. I think ExPatBurgGal is right also along with Roger.
Mike Jones (Editor) March 19, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Tom W... You don't need to be work to vote. Since you lost your SS card, can you post information here about how to obtain a new SS card for those who might not have one?
Roger March 19, 2012 at 11:15 AM
MIke, just for the record, the time of assigning a Social Security at birth is a relatively recent provision. I think I was 18 when I got mine. Perhaps it was acquired when I registered for the draft, I don't remember for certain.
Anthony Brown August 17, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Still believing that voter fraud and potential voter fraud does not exist? http://townhall.com/columnists/byronyork/2012/08/13/when_1099_felons_vote_in_a_race_won_by_312_ballots/page/full/ Lets get our head out of the sand and find out how many true unaddressed hardship cases that actually exist- and then help those poor folks out- in the meantime- lets clean up the voter roles and preserve the sanctity of OUR vote.
Mike Jones (Editor) August 17, 2012 at 03:22 PM
@Anthony... So how does photo ID solve that problem. Convicted felons are allowed to obtain a driver's license when they leave jail, so Voter ID wouldn't come into play with this issue. At this point, who really cares? The court has spoken and now it's up to us to make sure every voter has proper identification.
Anthony Brown August 18, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Here is my thinking- and i am glad to see that you are now accepting of the decision. I do not believe in the approach of admitting that there are holes in the system- but lets do nothing about it until we have verifiable, substantial data that numerous cases have occurred. (Which has happened) If i know that there is a breach in our defense system that will easily allow nuclear suitcase bombs entering the US- I certainly do not want to wait until one decimates a metro area until I will react. There are NUMEROUS cases of voter fraud on numerous levels and avenues. (see example above for one). I am all for vigilance and protection of the vote at all levels- from registration through counting. With all of the garbage ACORN and other taxpayer funded anti american organizations have pulled (again- more convictions)- I want a process in place that is vigilant- not wide open invitations for for fraud. All the hysterics over Florida trying to purge 2 million invalids from the roles really made me sick. I want MY verified vote to be protected and as worthy as all others.


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