Top Pennsylvania Election Official Endorses Proposed Voter ID Law

Aug 25, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
A proposed Pennsylvania election law requires all voters to present photo identification like a passport.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Secretary Carol Aichele recently voiced her support for a controversial election law working its way through the state legislature.

House Bill 934, the Pennsylvania Voter Identification Protection Act, stipulates Pennsylvanians must present a photo ID to vote. The bill was passed by the state's house of representatives in June and awaits action in the senate.

Representative Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican from Butler, introduced the measure, which he said will reduce fraudulent voting. Aichele echoed this argument at a recent conference of election officials in Lancaster. She also responded to critics who say the law is unnecessary by referring to voter fraud perpetrated in Pennsylvania and other states by members of the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now.

Aichele said the law will cost $1 million to implement, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee estimated the cost would be $4.3 million, and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center predicted the price tag could run as high as $11 million.

Florida, Georgia and Indiana currently require all voters to show identification, according to the Pew Center. Shortly after Indiana's voter ID law was approved by the state supreme court after years of debate, the state passed further election reforms. One measure, removing the names of uncontested candidates from ballots, has raised the hackles of many Hoosier politicians.