Editorials: Pennsylvania voter ID law will make voting difficult for many seniors | Rep. Bob Freeman/mcall.com
Paul Carpenter‘s column of March 14 supporting the new photo voter identification law failed to recognize the hardship this new requirement will place on many voters, particularly senior citizens who don’t have a valid driver’s license. Carpenter stated that under the new legislation “there is no way a legitimate voter can be prevented from obtaining identification or from otherwise verifying that he or she is qualified to vote.” Not true. According to the SeniorLAW Center, 18 percent of senior citizens in Pennsylvania do not have a valid photo ID. Although a free one can now be obtained from a state Transportation Department photo center, many centers are either not served or are poorly served by public transportation. In addition to overcoming the hurdle of not being able to drive to the photo center, these senior citizens will have to present a Social Security card, birth certificate and two documents with their current address to get a photo ID. If they show up at their polling place but do not have a valid, unexpired photo ID, they will not be permitted to vote, despite the fact that they are legitimately registered voters and are known to election workers on sight. They will be offered a provisional ballot but must then obtain the photo ID and present it to the county elections office within six days for their vote to be counted. Doing all of this without a car will be difficult. If they don’t have a copy of their birth certificate or can’t find it, they won’t be able to get the photo ID, in which case their vote won’t be counted. It takes two to four months to process a birth certificate application.Full Article: Pa. voter ID law will make voting difficult for many seniors - mcall.com.