PA Voter IDs- A Solution in Search of a Problem


As Pennsylvania becomes yet another state to introduce laws requiring photo identification to be presented in order to vote, Republicans sponsoring the bill fail to present any evidence of voter fraud being a problem. The bill passed 26-23 in the state Senate, with all Democrats and three Republicans voting against it.

Quite simply, the bill, by its very nature, makes it harder for people to vote. Although most people already have photo IDs, what about the people who don’t? That’s 11% of the voting-age population. More significantly, it disproportionatly affects seniors, minorities, and the poor. 18% of seniors, 25% of African Americans, and 15% of individuals making under $35,000 don’t have photo IDs necessary to comply with this law. Seniors and the poor are exactly the sort of people who lack the mobility needed to get to the DMV to get the identification they need. They might even lack the documentation needed to get the IDs in the first place, such as birth certificates, which aren’t free to obtain.

However, this law doesn’t just burdon those without photo IDs. It burdons every taxpayer of Pennsylvania. This law could cost over $10 million to put into effect. This is happening at a time when the state faces a large budget deficit, and has had to make numerous painful cuts in areas such as education.

So what does this result to? A bill that makes it harder for people to vote, while at the same time adding to an already-bad budget situation. This isn’t just a solution in search of a problem- this is a creation of many new problems.

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