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Senator Hughes Joins Hundreds to Protest Voter ID/Voter Suppression Law, Supports Repeal Legislation
On July 24, I joined with several of my legislative colleagues, NAACP officials, labor organization officials, faith leaders, senior citizens and hundreds of concerned individuals at a rally on the steps of the State Capitol in Harrisburg to denounce the Voter ID/Voter Supression law, a law that will mean the disenfranchisement of over 750,000 people in Pennsylvania. Almost one in five voters in Philadelphia will be disenfranchised by this law.
To be clear, this is a law that House Republican Leader Mike Turzai said ‘is going to allow Governor [Mitt] Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.’
As American citizens, all eligible voters should be allowed to exercise their constitutional right to vote. So much blood, sweat and tears have gone into fighting for the right to vote. This law is not about protecting the integrity of the vote, it is about the very real, systematic disenfranchisement of groups of specific folks - mostly the poor, the elderly, students and racial minorities. It is voter suppression, plain and simple, and we must not stand for it.
I am pleased to announce that I have signed on as co-sponsor to legislation that would repeal the Voter ID Act and increase penalties for voter impersonation in Pennsylvania. The bill’s primary sponsor is Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware).
The Voter ID law is about Republican attempts to prevent people from voting in order to win the Presidential election in November. The dubious claims of voter fraud made by the Republican majority and Governor Tom Corbett simply do not exist. That has been proven.
In a recently released legal stipulation, attorneys for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have confessed that there have been no known cases of voter fraud committed in the state and that they do not plan to offer evidence proving otherwise.
The data has indicated that there has been no fraud. In fact, as a matter of record, when he was Attorney General, Tom Corbett never prosecuted one case of voter fraud.
The Department of State has also indicated that burden of voter ID will fall disproportionately on the poor, the elderly, students and racial minorities, and that almost one in five voters in Philadelphia are disenfranchised by this law.
The law will have a significantly adverse impact on women whose married name is different from the name on their birth-certificate, and 27.5 percent of senior citizens over 80 years old not only do not have proper photo ID, but will have a great deal of difficulty traveling to get it.
Hughes Urges Citizens Not to Wait, Get Valid IDs for Voting Now
This voter ID law will have a direct impact on citizens who exercise their right to vote. Starting this November, every voter will be required to show a valid form of identification in order to vote. If you do not have a valid form of identification, the state will provide one to you at no cost. Do not wait until November to obtain it. Take the steps now to make sure that your vote counts in this year’s General Election and all future elections.
Acceptable Forms of ID
The following forms of identification will be accepted in order to vote:
- Photo IDs issued by the United States government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that includes your name, a photograph, and an expiration date that is not expired
- U.S. military ID – active duty and retired military (a military or veteran’s ID must designate an expiration date or designate that the expiration date is indefinite). Military dependents’ ID must contain an expiration date
- Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-drivers license photo ID (that is not more than 12 months past the expiration date or a valid-without-photo driver’s license or a valid-without-photo ID card issued by PennDOT for individuals who have a religious objection to being photographed
- Employee photo ID issued by Federal, Pennsylvania, PA County or PA Municipal governments that includes your name, a photograph, and an expiration date that is not expired
- Photo ID issued by an accredited Pennsylvania public or private college, university or seminary that includes your name, a photograph, and an expiration date that is not expired
- Photo ID issued by a Pennsylvania care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences or personal care homes that include your name, a photograph, and an expiration date that is not expired
My staff and I will gladly help you ensure that you have the proper documentation to obtain a state-issued ID. Please do not hesitate to contact me for assistance. I have included detailed instructions on how to obtain a valid ID card on my website, www.senatorhughes.com. Constituents can also call my district office at 215-879-7777.
You can find out more specifics about the Voter ID Law and provide your feedback on my website at senatorhughes.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@SenatorHughes).
Offices of State Senator Vincent Hughes