Photo ID rule for voters has a skeptic in Philly

    A plan to require photo ID’s be shown before any voter can cast a ballot has been appoved by the Pennsylvania House. It now heads to the Senate, where its chances of passage seem good.

    Supporters say it’s needed to prevent vote fraud. 

    But Philadelphia’s Voter Registration Supervisor, Bob Lee, says he’s worried the ID requirement will do more to cause delays at polling places than to prevent mischief.

    “It’s going to cause longer lines,” he said. “I don’t know how much longer, I don’t know what the impact will be, but common sense tells you whenever you add something to the process that the poll workers are going to have to administer out there, then it’s going to take them a little bit longer, even if it’s 15 to 30 seconds each it’s still going to add time per voter.”

    Lee adds in more than a quarter century on the job he’s only seen a handful of fraudelent voters try to beat the system.

    “There may be reports of four in the time I’ve been here; it’s not prevalent at all,” said Lee.

    Lee summed up the bill this way.

    “This is a solution in search of a problem without a doubt.”

    Supporters of the bill say it’s needed to ensure the constitutional principle of “one person, one vote.”

    Critics say that it will tend to disenfranchise poor, minority or elderly voters who are less likely to drive, thus lack the simplest form of photo ID, a driver’s license.

    The bill does exempt people who have a religious objection to being photographed, and residents of nursing homes that serve as their polling places.


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