ACLU-PA Position: Opposes
HB 1596 (PN 1759) is a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that would require every voter to present "valid identification" at the polls every time they vote.
But HB 1596 fails to clearly define which forms of ID qualify as “valid." As a result, voters will be asked to decide whether to amend the PA Constitution to require voter ID before the legislature has even defined the legal requirements for the process.
HB 1596 contributes to the dangerous trend of legislating by constitutional amendment. Requiring voter ID does not require a constitutional amendment. Voter ID can—and should be—a change that is legislatively enacted by amending the Election Code. In the event that any of the provisions in HB 1596 prove to be impractical, ill-defined, burdensome, and/or in error, the ONLY way to adjust the requirements or mechanisms of voter ID is to re-amend the constitution—a process that could easily take at least 2-3 years to implement.