A controversial bill requiring voters to show specific photo identification at the polls starting with elections this year faces a final vote in the House today. The Republican-controlled House Rules Committee voted for the bill Monday along party lines after defeating amendments by Democratic lawmakers to address concerns about senior citizens not bringing proper ID to the polls. The House needs to concur with a Senate-approved voter ID bill so it can be sent it to Gov. Tom Corbett for his expected signing. A foretaste of this legislation’s impact will come during the April 24 primary when local election officials will be required to ask each voter to show proof of identification. On this day, a primary voter lacking such identification will still be allowed to cast a vote.
However, the voter photo ID would be required for the Nov. 6 general election and any special election that would occur after Sept. 17. A voter without the legal ID could cast a provisional ballot and then submit proof of identification to the county elections board either in person, by email or fax within six days after the election for that ballot to be counted.
The bill requires voters to show proof of identification issued by the state or federal government or from a local government to an employee, a Pennsylvania public or private higher education institution and Pennsylvania care facility that includes a photo, name that “substantially conforms” to the name appearing on a voting register and a current effective date in most cases. Pennsylvania GOP legislative leaders say the voter ID bill is a way to guard against voter fraud, while Democratic lawmakers said fraud by voter impersonation is basically non-existent and the bill is an effort to suppress voter turnout among the young, poor and elderly in a presidential election year. The rules committee rejected amendments to delay the bill’s implementation to 2013, allow senior citizens to use a Medicare card for ID and exempt seniors 65 and older from the voter photo ID requirement.
Full Article: Voter ID bill faces final vote – News – The Times-Tribune.