Groups announce opposition to voter ID requirement

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HARRISBURG -- About 20 groups, many representing low-income and elderly people and members of racial minorities, have come out in opposition to a bill that would require all voters to show photo ID in order to vote in every election.

Senate Bill 514, by Sen. Jane Orie, R-McCandless, would require all voters, whenever they go to a polling place on election day, to show a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, or two forms of another approved ID, one of which must have the person's photo. Currently, only first-time voters have to produce photo identification.

The Orie bill is to be debated March 24 by the Senate's State Government Committee.

The critics said today the bill "would infringe on the voting rights of Pennsylvanians, particularly those among historically disenfranchised communities, including elderly, low-income, disabled and minority citizens who often do not possess these types of identification.''

Opponents include the ACLU, the Black Political Empowerment Project, Common Cause, Democracy Rising Pennsylvania, the NAACP National Voter Fund, Just Harvest, the Disability Voting Coalition and the SEIU State Council.


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