Friday, June 24, 2011

Voter ID Bill Heads to State Senate

House Republicans passed a bill to require photo identification at the polls last night.

A late-night, party-line vote has pushed the legislation to the Senate for consideration.

State Representative Dom Costa says it would cost PennDOT about $10 million to distribute free photo IDs to people who would need them to vote under the measure.

But Costa says fraud isn’t a problem in Pennsylvania elections, and the requirement would present a “tremendous obstacle” to many would-be voters.

The Allegheny County Democrat says he thinks the bill will have a harder time passing the Senate, where he says the Republicans are more moderate.

“I’m hopeful that those moderate Republicans will look at it and say, ‘This is not good for our Commonwealth, and we don’t want to be any part of this,’” says Costa, “and I’m hoping they’re asking the same questions I’m asking. Future cost. Show me the beef. Show me where you’re telling me there’s voter fraud, and especially to the extent where we need to take these extreme measures.”

The bill would have PennDOT give out free photo IDs to people who bring their Social Security card, a non-photo ID, and two “proofs of residency” like bills or tax forms.

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