Northwest Philly officials react to passage of ‘Voter ID’ bill

Both state Rep. Rosita Youngblood and City Councilwoman Cindy Bass knew that the state House was going to pass the “Voter ID” bill, which it did with Wednesday afternoon’s 104-88 vote.

Youngblood accurately predicted the results would be along party lines — three Republicans broke ranks and went against party for HB 934 — and that “the Democrats don’t have the votes to stop it.”

Soon-to-be law

Now that Gov. Tom Corbett has signed it into law, Youngblood fears long lines at polling places in November.

She said that could result in neighbors telling neighbors “don’t even bother to go to vote since it took an hour or more because they’re asking [poll workers] to look at every ID of every voter.”

“They say it’s to stop fraud, but there really isn’t really any voter fraud. There’s no evidence of it being a problem. This is the national agenda of the Republican Party,” Youngblood (D, 198th) said of the bill. “Most people vote early in the morning or when they’re coming home from work. They’re not going to wait around an hour to vote.”

For her part, Bass still expects a vote on the resolution she introduced at last week’s Council meeting condemning the legislation.

“This bill is an affront to the voters who sent their representatives to Harrisburg to help spur economic growth and create jobs for Pennsylvanians,” the Eighth District councilwoman said. “It is no surprise that these tactics are being deployed during a Presidential election year, but it is a new low for those supporting these measures. Bills like HB934 are the types of legislation that erodes the public’s confidence in elected officials.”

What’s next?

Now, Youngblood said her party’s mission turns to voter education efforts, even while they still don’t know how the ID-requirement will manifest itself in practice.

“The only thing we can do get literature for voter education, inform the public why they have to have to do this,” she said. “This is not a mandate coming from Democratic caucus. It is a national Republican agenda. People need to understand that’s who is usurping the voting process.”

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