STATEMENT: Senators Vote to Make it Harder to Cast a BallotRelease Date: December 12, 2011, 12:00 am
Bill Would Require Pennsylvanians to Show Photo ID to Vote
Washington, DC – Today, the Pennsylvania Senate passed HB 934 – a bill that would require Pennsylvanians to show a government-issued photo ID in order to vote. Fair Elections Legal Network’s President, Robert Brandon, released the following statement regarding the passage of the bills:
“Today, Pennsylvania senators passed a bill that would prevent many seniors, disabled, and youth from exercising their right to vote. The bill places an unnecessary burden on voters by requiring them to show a photo ID in order to vote – an expensive piece of legislation that is not needed in Pennsylvania. Instead, this legislation creates barriers to the ballot box, confusion, longer lines at the polls, and costs for voters.
Many Pennsylvanians lack the required photo ID to comply with the legislation – particularly seniors and the disabled that do not drive. Even with a free voter ID, there are substantial costs for low-income voters who must purchase supporting documents – such as a birth certificate – to receive the ID. Additionally, during a time of steep budget deficits, adding an estimated $11 million to implement an unnecessary law seems negligent with taxpayer dollars.
Instead of implementing laws that would restrict participation in our elections and cost taxpayers millions, lawmakers should instead focus on legislation that will increase access and make voting more convenient. For example, laws that allow no excuse absentee voting and Election Day registration would make voting more convenient and increase participation in Pennsylvania elections.”
Click here to read Fair Elections Legal Network’s memorandum to the Pennsylvania State Senate Government Committee opposing HB 934.