HARRISBURG (March 14)- The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation today to erect new barriers to the vote for citizens of the commonwealth. House Bill 934 mandates all voters at all elections to show photo identification.
The following can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.
"The evidence is clear. Some citizens will lose the vote if this becomes law. But those who want to block the vote should not be fooled into thinking that this is over once the governor signs it. The next stop for this bad idea is in a court of law, and we are prepared to challenge it vigorously.
"Our legal team is currently mapping a strategy for overturning this voter suppression bill. In the week since the Senate passed the bill, the phone calls and emails from citizens who are concerned they or a loved one will lose the vote have increased dramatically. We are confident that we can show how this bill will disenfranchise citizens."
The following can be attributed to Andy Hoover, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
"Time and time again, the arguments of voter ID supporters proved fraudulent. It reached the point that Secretary of State Carol Aichele admitted on March 1 before a Senate committee that the administration has no evidence of voter impersonation fraud in Pennsylvania. This is a solution in search of a problem.
"Legislators, who live lives of privilege, think it's easy to get an ID. It's not. It can take months or even a year to get an ID, and the problems always start with the documents needed to get the ID. The birth certificate is especially difficult for some to obtain. Legislators can't grasp this because they are out of touch with how average Pennsylvanians live their lives.
"Supporters argue that it's difficult to function in society without ID. It's also difficult to function in society without being literate. That doesn't mean we should reinstate literacy tests.
"Voter ID will disenfranchise citizens. Period. And a majority of members of the state House are fine with that. This is a shameful day in our commonwealth."