Wednesday, March 07, 2012

PA Senate to Vote on Voter ID Bill

It is possible if not likely that tomorrow (Wednesday) the full Pennsylvania State Senate will vote on HB 934, which changes the types of identification required at elections. 

You can read more about it in the Inky ("Photo ID for voting in Pa. may advance," by Angela Couloumbis 3/06) and the Post-Gazette ("Voter photo ID bill heads to senate floor," by Karen Langley 3/06). 

The wording is a little tricky in places.  The rules for first time voters are different than those for repeat voters.  For example, first time voters can bring in a utility bill as id; repeat voters cannot.  People whose religions do not allow them to have a photo id made can get a non-photo id.  It's convoluted.  Some voters can use the last four digits of their social security number.  The bill was amended to accept college and nursing home ids.  The bill that passed the House did not have that amendment so if this passes the house so if the senate passes it there will need to be some sort of reconciliation committee.

The bill's fiscal note estimates that it will cost nearly $4 million over the next couple of years.  Other estimate it to have a higher cost (see articles above for source).  There does not seem to be any evidence of widespread, or even pockets of, voter fraud.  This is a bill that has been showing up around the country, especially in states with a Republican legislature and / or governor. 

Personally I find this bill alarming and plan on calling my state senator tomorrow, to ask for a "no" vote.

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