Below you will find a compilation of media coverage of the Voter Suppression Bill (HB 934), particularly highlighting the tremendous work done by Protect Our Vote coalition members and allies.

Confusion, lines in quest for voter IDs
Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/22/12
Prospective voters lined up for free photo IDs, but some almost left empty handed over bad information.

Quest for free ID from Pa. has its complications
WHYY 91 FM, 3/22/12
Advocates opposing the new law say the state isn’t actually ready to come through on this promise. They say PennDOT hasn’t adequately trained its staff to handle the potential influx of voters …

Group Rallies in Philadelphia To Publicize, Criticize Pennsylvania’s New Voter ID Law
KYW Newsradio 1060, 3/21/12
A voters’ rights group held a rally today at a Penndot driver’s licensing center in center city Philadelphia, to get the word out about the new voter ID law.  “It is the state’s responsibility to fulfill the promises it made when it passed this law,” says Philadelphia city commissioner Stephanie Singer, who thinks that thousands of Philadelphians could be affected by the new law which requires citizens to present a photo ID in order to vote …

http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/03/pa_photo_voter_id_bill_is_now_law_hbcus_in_the_crosshairs.html          Who is she talking about when she says “those not legally allowed to vote”?“I don’t know who she’s talking about,” said Pennsylvania voting rights activist Celeste Taylor. “If she’s talking about voter impersonation, then just say that. I think she has broadened the meaning of voter fraud to stopping people from voting who are eligible to vote, but just don’t have the right ID. The impacts of this law will be on people who meet all legal requirements to be able to vote. That’s unacceptable to me.”

Taylor has worked on voting rights, GOTV, voter registration and voter protection campaigns since 1999 at national, state and local levels. She works with a coalition that includes dozens of organizations around the state including not only civil rights groups like the NAACP and League of Young Voters, but also the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. The County Commissioners are not an advocacy organization. They are an association of county government administrators who are on the frontlines of every election, staffing the polls and dealing with all the problems that occur on election days. And they oppose this new law.

But Gov. Corbett believes he has signed a “law of prevention” against voter fraud.

But voter fraud “just isn’t happening,” says Taylor. “I’m just so upset because I’ve seen how hard it is to get people to participate in this democracy and utilize the vote as their voice. Between the Citizens United ruling and corporations now having so much power — and now voter ID laws superceding what people’s rights are — so many people just don’t get it.”

Pa. Senate passes voter ID bill

Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/8/12

[T]he Pennsylvania chapter of the ACLU, said Wednesday night they would challenge the measure in court if it becomes law … Aside from Democrats and a handful of Republicans, opponents of the measure include civil liberties organizations, labor unions, the AARP, the NAACP, and the county officials who would be tasked with implementing it. The counties, in fact, have warned legislators that mandating the extra step of checking IDs will only lead to long lines and frustration at the polls – particularly in the relatively heavy turnouts that mark presidential elections.

 

Voter ID passes Pa. Senate

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/8/12

Moments after the bill passed, Senate Democrats and the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania separately said they intend to file legal challenges to the photo identification requirement. Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia, said his caucus will go to court unless the bill is changed in the House to allay the concerns of Democrats. “If that does not happen, we will find ourselves in court to find some way to prevent this law from taking place and taking effect,” Mr. Williams said. Witold Walczak, legal director for the state’s ACLU chapter, said his organization also plans to challenge the law to prevent it affecting an election … Walczak, of the ACLU, said implementing a new identification requirement in November, with presidential candidates on the ballot, would make the elections unworkable. “If this is allowed to go forward, and especially if it’s being implemented for the first time at the general election, Pennsylvania will be the Florida of 2000 in this election,” he said.

 

Pennsylvania Senate Approves Bill Requiring Voters To Present Photo ID At Polls

KYW 1060 (Philadelphia), 3/8/12

The relatively close vote in the senate broke down largely along party lines with Republicans like Dominic Pileggi of Chester, the senate majority leader, favoring the voter photo ID requirement … The bill was already passed by the House, but was amended in the Senate… so it must go back to the House, which is expected to take it up again next week. It’s intended to be in effect for the November election, but opponents are already talking court challenges.

 

Senate approves voter ID bill

Scranton Times-Tribune, 3/8/12

Senior organizations have criticized the bill. “The truth is, the older you are, the more likely you won’t have an ID,” said Ivonne Gutierrez Bucher, Pennsylvania State Director for AARP. Individuals older than 65 are more likely to lack the birth certificate necessary to obtain a government-issued ID because they were born before recording births was standard procedure, she added.

 

State Senate passes voter ID bill

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/8/12

Three Republican senators joined Democrats yesterday in opposing the bill. They are Mary Jo White, R-Venango County; Jane Earll, R-Erie; and Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery County. Opponents say little fraud has been proved and the legislation has the potential to prevent some people from voting. “This is a solution looking for a problem,” said Sen. John Wozniak, D-Johnstown.

 

Pa. voter ID bill passes Senate, heads to House

Pottstown Mercury, 3/8/12

(AP) Labor unions, counties, civil liberties advocates, good government advocates, the AARP and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also objected to the bill, which passed the Republican-controlled chamber 26-23. Republican Gov. Tom Corbett supports the measure; it is expected to receive approval within days from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which passed a stricter version of the bill last year. The American Civil Liberties Union immediately said it was preparing a legal challenge; Senate Democrats said they would sue if the bill becomes law.

 

Reporter’s Notebook: Senate debates Voter ID bill before vote

Carlisle Sentinel, 3/8/12

As the various appropriations committees continue to grapple with the state budget, a noble and laudable goal, the Senate — the only chamber in session this week — spent most of Monday and Tuesday debating amendments to the Voter ID bill … Republicans, of course, are claiming that it’s necessary to ensure the integrity of the process. Statistically, the instances of voter fraud are on par with the instances of humans contracting leprosy from armadillos.

 

Pa. Voter ID Bill Passes Senate

WETM 18 (Elmira, NY), 3/8/12

Republicans passed the bill 26-23 Wednesday over the protests of Democrats, civil liberties advocates, the AARP and the NAACP … County commissioners warn that it’ll lengthen Election Day lines at many polling places and do nothing to improve ballot security.

 

Pa. Voter ID ‘Test’ Possible in April 24 Primary

NBC 10 (Philadelphia), 3/8/12

(AP) Labor unions, counties, civil liberties advocates, labor unions, the AARP and NAACP also objected to the bill, which passed the Republican-controlled chamber, 26-23, after several hours of debate.

 

Statement on Pennsylvania Senate passing voter ID legislation

Westmoreland Times, 3/8/12

Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement applauding the Pennsylvania Senate for passing voter identification legislation that would ensure fair elections – House Bill (HB) 934. “The Pennsylvania Senate took an important step to promote the integrity of our electoral process by passing critical Voter ID legislation. The bottom line is that voter ID is a commonsense reform that strengthens a fundamental pillar of our democracy by ensuring that every single vote that is legally cast, legally counts,” Chairman Gleason said.

 

Pa. voter ID bill passes Senate, heads to House

Beaver County Times, 3/8/12

Labor unions, counties, civil liberties advocates, good government advocates, the AARP and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also objected to the bill, which passed the Republican-controlled chamber, 26-23. Republican Gov. Tom Corbett supports the measure; it is expected to receive approval within days from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which passed a stricter version of the bill last year. The American Civil Liberties Union immediately said it was preparing a legal challenge; Senate Democrats said they would sue if the bill becomes law.

 

Pennsylvania Senate approves voter ID law

The Grio, 3/7/12

The legislation still must be approved by the state’s House and then signed by Governor Tom Corbett, a Republican. Corbett’s office told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review on Wednesday “he would sign it,” if the measures reaches his desk. In most states, African-Americans and Latinos are less likely to have driver’s licenses than white voters. So if minority voters don’t obtain photo identification by Election Day, this could complicate the campaign of President Obama, who will almost certainly need to win Pennsylvania to be re-elected. Liberal groups are already promising to file suit against the legislation if it becomes law.

 

State Senate Passes Voter ID Legislation

PoliticsPA, 3/7/12

Those who have come out against the bill feel that it would discourage certain groups from voting, such as minorities, the disabled, and the elderly.  Additionally, they feel that there is no evidence of the “voter impersonation” that the bill is attempting to decrease.  Opponents of the voter ID bill include Democrats, AARP, NAACP, and civil liberties supporters.  The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania also opposes the bill, saying that it would create much longer lines on Election Day.

 

PA Voter ID bill: Violates rights or way of life?

Delaware County Daily Times, 3/7/12

(PA Independent) “This is voter suppression. It is an unfunded mandate that will be passed along to the cities, towns and taxpayers of the Commonwealth,” said Mike Brunelle, executive director of Service Employees International Union Pennsylvania State Council, which represents 80,000 nurses and health-care workers across the state. Brunelle joined the coalition in unveiling a petition with more than 13,000 signatures asking senators to vote against the legislation … “This bill adds an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy to the voting process that would significantly disenfranchise older adults, those with disabilities and those from economically disadvantaged or diverse populations,” said Ivonne Gutierrez Bucher, state director for AARP, which advocates for people older than 50.

Pennsylvania Senate approves Voter ID

Allentown Morning Call, 3/7/12

Within minutes of the vote, Senate Democrats and the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union separately announced that they’re planning to sue. AARP and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also objected to the bill. “We’re assembling a litigation team,” said Andy Hoover, ACLU’s Harrisburg lobbyist.

State Senate approves voter ID bill

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Early Returns, 3/7/12

The PG’s Karen Langley has more on the bill’s details here, and listened to the four hours of floor debate and dozens of rejected Democratic amendments offered this afternoon. She now reports that Democrats and civil-rights advocates are preparing a legal challenge to the soon-to-be law.

Pa. Senate approves voter ID bill

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/7/12

Opponents say little fraud has been proven and the legislation has the potential to prevent some people from voting. Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, called the legislation the “voter suppression bill.”

 

Voter ID bill passes PA Senate

Fox 43 (South Central PA), 3/7/12

A coalition of civic groups, including “Protect our Vote,” the AARP and several labor unions rallied against the bill, calling it “unnecessary” and a “waste of taxpayer funds.” Members of these groups fear the measure will discourage voters without government issued IDs, particularly the poor, elderly and disabled, from exercising their right to vote.

 

Pa. Senate approves voter ID plan

WHYY 91 FM (Philadelphia), 3/7/12

The voter ID bill that cleared the Pennsylvania Senate Wednesday would require photo identification issued by PennDOT, an accredited Pennsylvania college or university, or a Pennsylvania care facility. Bowser said it’s not uncommon to see court challenges to voter ID laws – something that’s already been threatened by at least one civil rights group in Pennsylvania. She said the voter ID is a polarizing issue.

 

Pa. voter ID bill scheduled for final Senate vote

Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/7/12

(AP) Republicans were pressing the bill Wednesday over the protests of Democrats, civil liberties advocates, county commissioners, labor unions, the AARP and the NAACP.

 

Pa. voter ID bill passes Senate, heads to House

Choshocton Tribune, 3/7/12

(AP) Labor unions, counties, civil liberties advocates, labor unions, the AARP and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also objected to the bill, which passed the Republican-controlled chamber, 26-23, after several hours of debate … A legal challenge is pending to a similar law passed last year in Wisconsin, and the ACLU said it will pursue one in Pennsylvania.

 

Pennsylvania Voter ID Bill Passes Senate

Philadelphia Weekly, 3/7/12

As we’ve reported in the past, several local, state and national organizations have vocally protested this bill, including Project H.O.M.E., the Committee of Seventy, Equality PA, the NAACP, the Brennan Center, the SEIU and the ACLU of Pennsylvania, among others. Equality PA wrote in a recent email that Voter ID “will particularly affect non-drivers (senior citizens who no longer drive, persons with disabilities, and residents of urban communities who travel by public transit) and could be especially restrictive to members of the Transgender community. Also recognize that the challenge of securing a non-driver photo ID card from PennDOT will be costly, difficult, and, for some, impossible.” Project H.O.M.E. called the legislation the “voter suppression bill,” which has been repeated on both the House and Senate floors during debate.

 

Pennsylvania Voter ID Bill Heading to Full Senate

Yahoo! News, 3/7/12

Democrats intensely oppose the bill, as do a number of civic organizations such as the NAACP, AARP, and labor unions. As the AP report mentions, labor unions believe the bill will discourage many groups who do not have valid photo identification at their disposal from heading to the polls.

 

Senate Set To Move On Voter ID Today

Capitol Ideas, 3/7/12

The proposal has the backing of leaders in the Republican-controlled House and of Gov. Tom Corbett, meaning it could be at least partly in place when Pennsylvanians head to the polls for the April 24 primary. With control of the White House, Congress and even the state’s Legislature on the line this year, the bill is subject to a partisan tug of war. Democrats, organized labor, the NAACP and the AARP oppose it.

 

Polarized PA Senate Passes Voter ID Bill

Cheltenham Citizens Call, 3/7/12

Marian Schneider, consulting attorney for The Advancement Project, called the legislators’ decision “a very disappointing vote given all of the constituents that opposed the bill. I think that this measure will cost far more than is anticipated and will, indeed, disenfranchise otherwise eligible voters.”

 

Pa. Senate to vote on voter photo ID bill

Waynesboro Herald-Mail, 3/6/12

Franklin County (Pa.) Commissioners Chairman David Keller said he would prefer the provisions go into effect after the 2012 election season … The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania opposes the bill, which it warns could create longer Election Day lines at polling places. In a letter to lawmakers, the association also said county commissioners have not heard allegations of voter impersonation from voters or poll workers.

Pa. voter ID bill heads toward final Senate vote

Delaware County Daily Times, 3/6/12

(AP) Democrats intensely oppose it, as do the AARP, labor unions, civil liberties advocates and the NAACP, and accused Republicans of working to suppress the votes of the elderly, minorities, the poor and the disabled ahead of a presidential election. Republicans pointed to the wide use of photo IDs for things like prescription drugs or boarding airplanes and public polls that support such a requirement.

 

Voter ID bill heads to Senate vote

WFMZ 69 (Lehigh Valley), 3/6/12

A bill that would require Pennsylvania voters show certain photo identification is advancing in the state Legislature, even though Democrats are calling it a voter suppression attempt.

 

Pennsylvania Voter ID Bill Close to Becoming a Reality

Philadelphia Weekly, 3/6/12

Local groups like Project H.O.M.E. and the Committee of Seventy have argued against the bill, saying it disenfranchises voters. It’s minority and elderly voters who will be most affected by the legislation, as they, more often than whites, do not have photo ID. The NAACP has called the proposal racist, and vows to take it to court if enacted. Equality Pennsylvania has been urging a backlash to the bill in the LGBT community, too.

 

Editorial: Voter ID — A fix for something not broken

WHYY 91 FM (Philadelphia), 3/6/12

It’s a lot of work to steal a handful of votes, but – and this is the important point – requiring voter ID at polling places would do nothing to prevent this kind of fraud. I don’t like to be partisan, and I hate to say this is a Republican move to suppress poor and minority votes, but it’s hard to read this initiative any other way.

 

Senate acting on voter ID bill

Allentown Morning Call, 3/6/12

Democrats, organized labor, the NAACP and the AARP oppose it … Pileggi said voters had become accustomed to showing photo identification to do everything from driving a car to purchasing prescriptions and boarding an airplane, so one more request for identification shouldn’t be a problem. Unlike those activities, which are privileges, “voting is a right,” said Bonita Hoke, the executive director of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania. “If you meet the eligibility requirements [for voting], you shouldn’t have to provide identification at all.”

 

Photo ID for voting in Pa. may advance

Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/6/12

Opponents – including Democratic legislators, civil libertarians, the AARP, and the NAACP – contend that the measure, championed by Republicans in a GOP-dominated legislature, is a thinly veiled attempt to suppress the vote of traditionally Democratic constituencies. They echo their counterparts on a national stage, who argue that a push for similar bills in legislatures across the country is aimed at skewing local, state, and presidential races in favor of Republicans.

LTE: Don’t waste $11 million on voter fraud problems

Chester County Daily Local, 3/5/12

It may sound reasonable to require everyone to show a photo ID when voting in order to combat fraud, but in reality the Pennsylvania Voter ID Bill (HB 934) is unnecessary and a complete waste of the $11 million it is projected to cost — because there is no fraud to combat.

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