A state Senate panel Monday tweaked a measure to require all voters to show photo identification at the polls. The amended legislation now would allow for university ID cards and those issued by nursing home-type facilities to be accepted, and would require more information from those seeking an absentee ballot. It passed the Senate State Governmental Committee on a 6-5 vote.
The controversial measure, sponsored by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, passed the House in June and has strong support from the Corbett administration. Opponents argue that requiring a photo identification card would disenfranchise those without such cards, pointing to statistics showing senior citizens, minorities and low-income residents disproportionately lack ID cards.
Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks, who chairs the State Government Committee, said the changes are an attempt to make identification cards as easy to obtain as possible, noting that the legislation would provide a free ID to those without one. Four Democrats and one Republican, Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre, voted against the proposal, with several saying they are disinclined to change voting rules without first finding evidence of issues with the current system.
“I wasn’t going to vote to put a roadblock before voters without any credible evidence of a problem,” Mr. Corman said. “If someone can show me some evidence, I’m happy to consider it.”
Mr. McIlhinney said he has yet to see specific evidence of voter fraud incidents at the polls but called the potential photo requirement a “security check.”
Full Article: Senate panel OKs voter ID measure.