FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Babette Josephs
Josephs to host House Democratic Policy Committee in Philadelphia
for hearing on voter ID law
PHILADELPHIA, May 11 – State Rep. Babette Josephs, D-Phila., will co-chair a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing next week on the voter ID law.
The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 17 in Room 51-52, fifth floor of Peirce College, 1420 Pine St.
Hearing testifiers will include Stephanie Singer, chairwoman of the Philadelphia City Commissioners, Andy Hoover, legislative director of ACLU Pennsylvania, and a representative from AARP.
The committee invited Secretary of State Carol Aichele since it is her department that will administer the Voter ID law, but she declined the invitation.
"We’ve cut nearly $1 billion from public education in the past year, and we’ve cut another $1 billion in critical health and safety programs for women, children, seniors and working families. Pennsylvanians desperately want us to focus on job creation, but the governor and Republicans in the General Assembly instead are using taxpayer dollars to fight a crime that doesn't really exist," Josephs said.
"The real crime is that hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians may be prevented from exercising their constitutional right to vote because of their effort to enact this law."
A 2006 state Transportation Department estimate found that 691,000 Pennsylvanians do not have a driver’s license. Josephs said that African Americans, seniors, people with disabilities, the working poor and students are twice as likely to lack ID. She also pointed to another report that estimated the law will cost as much as $11 million to implement.
"Voting is a right, not a privilege. Suppressing voter turnout, and using taxpayer money to do it, is fiscally irresponsible, especially given the ongoing budget crisis facing our Commonwealth," she said.
"This law is the very definition of waste, fraud and abuse in state government."
The May 17 hearing is open to the public.