Quantcast

Outreach and outrage continue over voter ID law - abc27 WHTM

Outreach and outrage continue over voter ID law

Posted: Updated:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The Pennsylvania Department of State "is" trying to implement the new voter ID law.

We caught up with Secretary Carol Aichele in Gettysburg talking at a Department of Aging convention about the new voting rules and how they'll effect seniors.

"We want all 8.2 million registered voters in Pennsylvania to vote in November," Aichele said with a straight face and a genuine smile. "We are leaving no stone unturned in Pennsylvania to make sure we get the message out."

The message is actually very simple. You need proper photo ID before you're given access to the ballot box.

Implementing that simple message is more complex. The federal government is giving the state $5 million for outreach.

Harrisburg's Bravo Group is getting $260,000 dollars of it to spread the word about types of identification that are required and where to get them. They're taking a grassroots approach with pamphlets and brochures at fairs and churches, senior centers and schools.

"It's very labor intensive," said Sean Connolly of the Bravo Group. "We have people traveling all around the state, to meet with community groups in their neighborhoods. We're taking the message to them."

But is the message being heard? PennDOT recently reported that nine percent of registered voters, 759,000 Pennsylvanians, don't have a PennDOT-issued photo ID. Aichele says other ID's that have expiration dates are permissible, such as passports, military ID's and student ID's, and PennDOT doesn't track those. She also says clerical errors wildly inflated their figures.

"In my opinion, the number will be far less once we sort it out," she said.

Critics don't buy it and they point to original estimates from the bill's proponents that said only one percent of voters, 80,000 Pennsylvanians, don't have proper ID.

"After it's now passed, all of a sudden we're hearing the 'whoops' factor," said Barry Kauffman of Common Cause Pa. "Geez, it's not really 80,000, it's now three-quarters of a million people known not to have PennDOT-issued ID, maybe more."

Voter ID was sold as a law and order bill that would reduce voter fraud, but House Republican leader Mike Turzai suggested political motives while speaking to a GOP gathering in Hershey last month.

"A voter ID law to help Governor Romney win Pennsylvania - done," Turzai declared.

"In politics the definition of a faux pas is when an elected official accidentally tells the truth," Kauffman said. "Turzai told the truth. The purpose of this law was to disenfranchise people who may not vote for his party."

But there's another truth: polls have found Pennsylvanians support the concept of a voter ID law by an overwhelming 2-1 margin.

And the Department of State is trying to make it work - for everybody.

"No one will be disenfranchised in Pennsylvania," Aichele insisted. "No one."

Groups including the ACLU are suing to block the voter ID law. Commonwealth Court will take it up July 25.

If you have questions about what ID you need and where to get it, visit www.votespa.com.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Garden Spot marching band performs with Fall Out Boy

    Garden Spot marching band performs with Fall Out Boy

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:33 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:33:13 GMT
    When we last left off, the Garden Spot Marching Band was waiting to see if the band Fall Out Boy would live up to their word. Back in July, the school board told the marching band they could not perform one of Fall Out Boy's songs because of the language in the lyrics.More >>
    When we last left off, the Garden Spot Marching Band was waiting to see if the band Fall Out Boy would live up to their word. Back in July, the school board told the marching band they could not perform one of Fall Out Boy's songs because of the language in the lyrics.
    More >>
  • Endless Shrimp® Returns to Red Lobster®

    Endless Shrimp® Returns to Red Lobster®

    Starting Monday, September 1st, Red Lobster's Endless Shrimp, the number one guest-requested promotion, is back for a limited time. This year, guests can satisfy their shrimp cravings through one of the most...More >>
    Starting Monday, September 1st, Red Lobster's Endless Shrimp, the number one guest-requested promotion, is back for a limited time. This year, guests can satisfy their shrimp cravings through one of the most...More >>
  • Boy dies after lightning strike near Peach Bottom

    Boy dies after lightning strike near Peach Bottom

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:03 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:03:23 GMT
    A lightning strike has killed a boy who was swimming in a Lancaster County creek.More >>
    A lightning strike has killed a boy who was swimming in a Lancaster County creek.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow