Northwest Philly community leaders continue to fight controversial Voter ID law

The Voter ID law which Gov. Tom Corbett signed this spring has sparked some Germantown-area leaders to form an opposition coalition.

They contend the law is designed to limit electoral participation by voters favoring Democratic candidates and are planning a trip to Harrisburg to say so next month.

The Northwest Philadelphia KeepingMyVote coalition includes former Eighth District City Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, Rev. Robert P. Shine, Bishop Linda D. Calhoun and Michael Quintero. They are currently working with other groups to formulate strategies.

According to its website, the group’s mission “is to establish a strong grassroots effort to identify and educate voters who may be affected. … Our targeted areas are Germantown, Mt Airy, West Oak Lane, Logan, and Nicetown.”

Getting the word out

Miller recently explained how the effort has manifested itself thus far.

“We’ve been going around meeting with clergy, explaining to them this new Voter ID law and what it is that we need to do to get people information and education about obtaining a photo ID,” Miller said.

Supporters of the measure see it as a common-sense approach to reducing voter fraud; opponents contend fraud is non-existent and consider it a form of voter suppression.

They have been busy planning a Freedom Ride to Harrisburg to combat the law. July 25 was picked because that’s the day a hearing for the lawsuit filed by the ACLU, NAACP and other groups is expected to be heard there.

By mobilizing opposition, coalition members hope the planned rally will convince judges to block Voter ID implementation.

“There will be many churches and organizations providing vans for the Freedom Ride and we also want to provide rides to Penndot so people can get their IDs,” Quintero said.

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Shanise Redmon and Monet Tucker are students at Temple University. Philadelphia Neighborhoods, a NewsWorks content partner, is an initiative of the Temple Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.

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