FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Babette Josephs
Josephs raises objections to voter photo ID bill
HARRISBURG, May 24 – State Rep. Babette Josephs, D-Phila., today reiterated her objections to a bill that would require voters to provide valid photo identification each time they vote.
The Democratic chairwoman of the House State Government Committee and Reps. Flo Fabrizio and Eddie Day Pashinski held a Capitol news conference to urge members to consider the serious ramifications of this bill (H.B. 934), which is poised for consideration by the full Pennsylvania House of Representatives Wednesday.
"If enacted as is, this bill will have the disturbing effect of suppressing voter turnout," Josephs said. "It will prevent legitimate voters from exercising their constitutional right to vote, and it will cost the state nearly $10 million to provide valid photo identification to nearly 700,000 Pennsylvanians who lack photo ID -- about half of them senior citizens.
"We should not be mandating such a costly undertaking, given the significant scope of Pennsylvania's current financial challenges."
Josephs said this legislation sets a bad precedent and will lead to people being turned away from the polls because they do not have photo identification, including the aforementioned senior citizens, and victims of domestic violence simply because they failed to grab their photo ID when they fled a dangerous home.
Late last week, Josephs sent a letter to the U.S. and Pennsylvania attorneys general to request proof of the supposed voter fraud that its Republican sponsor, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, is claiming to correct with this bill.
"Claims of widespread voter fraud were made during recent State Government Committee hearings, but no one, in spite of my repeated requests and those of my Democratic colleagues, has provided real, hard evidence that the alleged cases have occurred. If we're going to deny voters of their constitutional right and spend nearly $10 million to do it, we must be certain there is a problem and that this legislation would fix it."
Josephs said she will continue to oppose this legislation and any other measures that create barriers to voting. More than 30 organizations also oppose this legislation, including the ACLU which was represented at today's news conference by Legislative Director Andy Hoover, and Common Cause and the League of Women Voters.