Opponents question value of Pa. voter ID plan

    Groups opposed to a Pennsylvania House voter ID proposal argue it would not address fraud as much as some supporters claim.

    The bill would require those who want to vote to show state-issued photo identification.

    Sponsor Rep. Daryl Metcalfe said his measure would weed out fraud that happens when people register to vote.

    Karen Buck, who runs the SeniorLAW Center in Philadelphia, said one has nothing to do with the other.

    “Voter registration and voter impersonation at the polls, the fraud is very different and distinct,” she said. “And the only type of voter fraud that this unnecessary legislation would prevent is someone going to the polls and pretending they are you. And that type of impersonation is very rare.”

    Metcalfe said photo ID is necessary for so much these days, it only makes sense to make it a prerequisite for voting.

    Opponents say the requirement would not be so easily met by those without driver’s licenses or those unable to produce other forms of photo ID.

    The House Appropriations Committee estimates the measure would cost the state $4.3 million for photo IDs for registered voters who don’t have a state-issued ID.

    About 82 percent of Pennsylvania adults are registered to vote, according to PennDOT.

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