Pennsylvania’s fight over voter ID could end up in voters’ hands

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Republicans and Democrats in Harrisburg continue to spar over election reform and the partisan issue of voter ID. But moving in the Senate this week, a bill to send the entire issue to the voters in the form of a constitutional amendment.

Senate Bill 735 would require voters to show ID every time they vote, not just the first time in a new precinct, as the current law demands. “Time and time again I hear from constituents who want to know why they need identification to buy cold medicine but not to choose their next senator, township supervisor, judge, or president,” State Senator Judy Ward (R) said. She wants voters to ultimately decide the thorny issue of voter ID.

“We have a saying if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” Governor Wolf said. He insists Pa. elections are not broken and record turnout is proof. Why go backwards? “We should not be trying to do more to suppress the vote and keep people from voting. Voter ID is one more barrier to voting,” Wolf said.

The politicians have run to their battle stations on the issue, but do people support showing ID every time?

“I support it a hundred percent. It’s about time,” John Williams said. “Absolutely not,” Kathy Gnalo said.

Residents are also split. “I think it’s an impediment to voting for some people and I think there should not be impediments, they should all be removed. It’s a democracy,” Gnalo said. “We show ID for everything else we do. Voting shouldn’t be any different. It will help prevent voter fraud,” Cutter said.

Ward insists she’s not trying to suppress votes, she’s empowering the people. “Allowing the voters to decide how they want to best secure their elections is not some nefarious plot,” Ward said.

Either way it won’t be quick. It must pass both chambers in two consecutive sessions before it gets on the ballot. The earliest that could happen is May of 2023.

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