If Pennsylvania has a voting issue, it is that not enough people go to the polls. It isn’t with people trying to pass themselves off as someone else at the voting booth.
Nonetheless, lawmakers are expected this week to rigorously debate legislation aimed at stopping voter fraud, which is not a problem, by requiring all registered voters to present valid photo ID when going to the polls.
Presently, an ID is required when you vote at a new voting precinct for the first time.
If the legislation passes, it will provide a solution to a made-up problem. Here is the reality: Going back a few decades, statewide county commissioners association officials can’t recall real problems with that kind of voter fraud on Election Day.
The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, which hasn’t taken a position on the bill, has heard few concerns about voter fraud statewide. In Dauphin County, the DA says it has not been a concern.
In addition, there have been a grand total of four people since 2005 sentenced for violating the state Election Code, according to the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.
The only effect of the legislation would be negative. Slower and thus longer lines during certain presidential election years, for example, and much worse, fewer people at the polls because they do not have a photo ID.
There is a large group of people, senior citizens who no longer have a valid driver’s license let alone a passport or other photo ID as well as those who live in urban areas and don’t drive. The poor also would be disproportionately affected.