Rep. Youngblood: We will fight Voter ID bill ‘tooth and nail’

Minutes after NewsWorks’s Germantown/West Oak Lane page posted a link to its story noting about City Councilwoman Cindy Bass’ resolution criticizing the state’s Voter ID bill push, state Rep. Rosita Youngblood responded with support via Twitter.

“We r going to fight this tooth and nail on Monday!” she wrote, noting that a press release about the issue was being worked on at that moment.

Shortly thereafter, the “Pa. voter suppression plan one step closer to reality: Phila. lawmaker says bill is unconstitutional, supports legal action if enacted” release arrived via email.

In it, Youngblood noted that House Bill 934 could be voted on as early as Monday.

Battle looming

“Proponents of this legislation are trying to say that voter fraud is rampant in Pennsylvania, but the reality is there were only four cases of voter fraud reported out of the nearly nine million eligible voters in 2008,” the release stated. “In fact, research suggests that voters are 39 times more likely to be struck by lightning than commit voter fraud at the polls.”

Youngblood, who represents the 198th District in Northwest Philadelphia, echoed Bass’ comments about voter-suppression undertones. Youngblood noted that the League of Women Voters found that 18 percent of senior citizens, or around 340,000 people, do not have photo ID.

“This plan will suppress the right to vote for millions of Pennsylvanians, and hundreds of thousands of Philadelphians, by making it harder to vote for those who do not have a photo ID,” Youngblood wrote. “The consequences to this plan far outweigh any of the perceived positives. … I would understand if the threat of voter fraud existed, but it doesn’t. This is a political tactic to limit voter turnout, plain and simple.”

The bill, which supporters cite as a common-sense idea to protect election integrity, is expected to pass and get Gov. Tom Corbett’s signature shortly thereafter.

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