Issue Spotlight: A Flawed Implementation of Voter ID in PA

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center worked with volunteer observers who made 44 visits to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) driver’s license centers in 35 counties in September 2012 to assess the commonwealth’s implementation of a new Department of State voter ID. We found that the commonwealth was continuing to fall short in its implementation of a requirement in the state’s strict new Voter ID Law that a photo ID be made available free of charge to voters who need one to cast a ballot.

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HARRISBURG - Something different happened in state legislative elections this year. Instead of running only on local issues, over 120 General Assembly candidates from every corner of the state endorsed the nonpartisan We The People policy agenda.

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center released the following statement from Director Marc Stier on the current state of SB22, the redistricting reform bill:

“The current version of SB22 is a deeply flawed bill. As modified by Senator Folmer, it fails to provide Pennsylvanians with the redistricting reform we deserve. Supporters claim it creates an independent redistricting commission that operates under rules that prohibit partisan gerrymandering, but we know that the omnibus amendment proposed by Senator Folmer falls short of fixing its profound structural weaknesses in three basic ways.

The redistricting process created by Senator Mike Folmer’s version of SB 22 passed by the Senate State Government Committee last week does initially look like a move toward nonpartisan redistricting, and for that reason some reform groups have said it is a step forward. But while we at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center support the goal of a nonpartisan system of drawing Congressional and state legislative districts lines, the process that would be put in place by the Folmer plan is so far from desirable that we urge the full Senate to reject it and start over. The Folmer proposal is worse than the process we have now in four important respects.

September 26, 2012

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is still falling short in its implementation of a requirement in the state’s strict new Voter ID Law that a photo ID be made available free of charge to voters who need one to cast a ballot. 

August 15, 2012

“We’re disappointed by the ruling and again urge the Corbett administration to take a step back and delay implementation of this law until the commonwealth can ensure that every voter who needs an ID can obtain one,” Sharon Ward said in a statement today.

August 3, 2012

With three months to go until the General Election, a survey of practices at PennDOT license centers indicates barriers that may make it difficult for Pennsylvanians to obtain photo ID required to vote, according to a new PBPC report.

July 6, 2012

New figures from the state show that 759,000 registered voters do not have current PennDOT-issued photo identification, which could result in a large number of Pennsylvania voters being disenfranchised on Election Day. Our issue brief shows this data by county.

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