A Republican proposal to make Pennsylvania voters produce government-issued photo identification at the polls moved a step from a final vote Tuesday in the state House with the defeat of a succession of proposed Democratic amendments.
Majority Republicans used sheer numbers and parliamentary maneuvers to turn aside proposed exemptions for victims of domestic violence or people with mental and physical disabilities, to have voting information printed in Spanish, or to provide additional information to voters about the change in law.
It was the second straight day the House’s floor action was dominated by the voter ID bill, promoted by its supporters as a way to help ensure the integrity of the voting process in the state.
Democrats have argued there is no evidence the state has a significant problem with voting fraud, and warned the bill would needlessly impose a new barrier to voters.
On Monday, Republicans defeated proposals to exempt seniors and military veterans from the requirement that voters display photo IDs issued by the state or federal governments.
The prime sponsor, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, argued for a clean bill that would closely mirror an Indiana law that has been upheld on appeal.
Toward the end of what were hours of debate, and a succession of votes, largely along party lines, members on both sides resorted simply to asking for “yes” or “no” votes.
The issue is loaded with campaign implications, and Democrats said the bill would result in voter suppression, particularly among older people, the poor and minorities.