Governor Tom Corbett signed the voter identification bill into law on March 14. The bill passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives earlier yesterday by a margin of 104-88.
HB934 will require all voters to present valid photo ID at the polls in order to vote. Valid photo IDs can be issued by the federal government, the state, Pennsylvania accredited colleges, municipal employers, the military and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Penn IDs and Pennsylvania driver’s licenses would all be valid.
The new voting rules will be in effect by the November elections. Poll workers will explain the law’s provisions and ask voters to present a valid photo ID during the upcoming April primary elections, but voters will still be permitted to vote in the primaries without a valid photo ID.
“I think the Pennsylvania Congress and governor are doing the really good thing in taking steps to preserve the sanctity of democracy in our country,” College Republicans Vice President and College sophomore Arielle Klepach said. “Especially with the upcoming elections, I think it’s important that the bill achieve its intentions in curbing voter fraud.”
Despite the bill’s passage, opposition remains strong.
“We fought tooth and nail to try to keep the bill from hitting the Senate floor,” Penn Democrats President and College sophomore Andrew Brown said. “We are troubled that it passed and wish Harrisburg would focus on real issues that Pennsylvania faces today.” In the past few months, Penn Dems was circulating a petition against the bill’s passage.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Pa. Senate Democrats have said they will challenge the new law, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Similar voter ID laws in other states have been challenged. A county circuit court in Wisconsin temporarily blocked enforcement of a voter ID law until a trial.
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