Democrats who conducted a policy committee hearing Wednesday questioned the necessity of the voter identification law enacted last month and the struggles it could present to Pennsylvania voters, as did many of those who testified about the law at the Waverly Community House. State Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich, D-Taylor, requested the hearing in his home district and served as co-chairman. The law “slams the brakes” on progress made to provide greater access to persons with disabilities, said Keith Williams, Clarks Green Borough Council president, and a community organizer for the Northeast Pennsylvania Center for Independent Living.
The law requires voters to carry a photo ID with an expiration date issued by an approved agency. Acceptable documents include a driver’s license, an accredited state college or university card, or one from a government agency. The law will be enforced in the November general election; it will not affect voters in the April 24 primary election.
Williams testified there are approximately 2 million people in the state with disabilities, a figure that represents “more than 20 percent” of potential voters. Those individuals, he added, are “twice as likely” to not possess a driver’s license, one of the most common forms of photo identification.
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