Pennsylvania’s New Voter Photo ID Law: Setting the Record Straight
One of the biggest scams and injustices perpetuated by the mainstream media this year is the assault against voter photo ID. Virtually every effort to publish every half truth and inaccurate argument possible has been made to blur the thinking of the people.
The No. 1 argument from opponents is that “voter fraud does not exist in Pennsylvania.” We have heard this countless times on the House floor and it is repeated by local committee people. There are a few major problems with this position.
First, it broadens the argument to all types of voter fraud including those related to photo identification. When you expand the argument, opponents have even less of a leg to stand on. We conducted hearings and days of debate in the House on this issue. We heard testimony of cases of voter fraud. All this was not enough; opponents insisted there is no voter fraud.
Some went further and alleged there is no voter ID fraud in PA. Once again this argument defies the evidence. Has everyone already forgotten the suits brought against ACORN and other groups illegally registering voters? Are they ignoring the legal action that resulted in defunding of ACORN forcing these community organizers to regroup and try to restructure under another name?
Still this was not enough and the opponents cried “no voter fraud in PA.”
The second fallacious argument is “voter fraud does not exist because there are few, if any, prosecutions of it.” Such a superficial argument is easily refuted. Most voter fraud is committed in urban areas where District Attorneys are overwhelmed with higher profile cases. Most will not touch a voter fraud case of any kind. Have we forgotten already how our own US attorney general refused to prosecute a clear-cut case of voter intimidation in Philadelphia that was already won? The fact that voting irregularities are not prosecuted does not mean they do not exist.
It is clear the ideologues ignore any evidence that challenges their narrative. They rely on influencing the small segment of the inattentive who will fall prey to superficial emotional pleas without paying attention to the full argument at their disposal.
Some, opponents charge it will disenfranchise voters, especially seniors. For the last year I have spoken at town hall meetings, senior citizen events, AARP meetings and a variety of other venues. One of the first questions I ask is, “How many people have a photo ID?” Literally every hand goes up. I then ask, “How many people think we should show it to vote?” Literally every hand goes up.
If I were to find that anomaly without a photo ID, the state would provide one for free. And by the way, if their ID is expired within one year, they can even use that to vote. Oh even more, if they are in the system as far back as 1990, they do not have to provide a birth certificate. We have made it quite easy to obtain ID and to vote.
The most recent argument, at least ostensibly appears valid. “What if the name on your ID does not match exactly the name on your registration, will I be denied the right to vote?” The answer is absolutely not. The judge of elections at every polling place can determine whether the names substantially conform. No one may deny anyone from voting. The person can always demand a provisional ballot which will count and can be verified at a later date.
Requiring a valid photo ID to vote is just one step needed to tighten the process to ensure every person can vote, but only once.
My experience has been overwhelming that the voters support showing a valid voter photo ID. The only ones against it seem to be the ideologues and the media. Both groups are swimming against the will of the people—shame on both of them.
State Representative Rick Saccone
39th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin