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Allegheny County Officials Challenge State Voter ID Law

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. today on efforts to block the law.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and county controller Chelsa Wagner are among the officials planning a challenge , which was signed by Gov. Tom Corbett in March.

Sponsored by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, the law requires voters to show photo identification before they vote at the polls. After a dry run in the May primary, it is scheduled to take effect for the Nov. 6 general election.

Wagner argues the law violates the Pennsylvania Constitution and federal laws guaranteeing free and equal access to the polls while placing an unfunded mandate on county taxpayers.

“No elected official in our democracy should prevent citizens from voting,” Wagner said in a statement on the Allegheny County website. “We will not stand for this in Allegheny County, and we will not stand for this in Pennsylvania—our nation’s birthplace.

Every elected official must do everything in their power to increase voter participation, not limit it, regardless of party or demographics.”

Wagner will join Fitzgerald at a 2 p.m. press conference today to detail efforts to block the law.  

The county controller, a Democrat, has endorsed efforts in the courts to keep the law from taking effect before the election and said her office will file an amicus brief in the challenge to the law now pending in Commonwealth Court.

“The cost of implementing Voter ID statewide has been estimated at $11 million, with no aid from the state, so the governor is creating another unfunded mandate for all 67 counties,” Wagner said. “As Pennsylvania’s second-largest county, with large populations of urban, elderly and student voters who would be most harmed, Allegheny County would shoulder a huge financial burden implementing Voter ID.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, the Advancement Project, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and the Washington, D.C., law firm of Arnold & Porter last month asked appeals court judges to overturn the law, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Metcalfe has said the law, which was championed by the GOP party, would prevent impersonation at the polls, fictitious registrations, double-voting and voting by illegal aliens. 

What do you think? Do you support the Voter ID Law? Is it unconstitutional?

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Billee June 15, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Is the NEW voter ID law unconstitutional? Depends on the SOLUTION! Is the answer going to be found within your new Affordable Care Act mandates law? Can someone post fact finders for this one! The bill was already signed. So we should know whats in it? Right?
Ed M June 15, 2012 at 08:35 PM
How is this unconstitutional? What's wrong with having to prove who you are to vote?
freeandequalpa June 16, 2012 at 02:05 AM
It's unconstitutional for the reasons set out in the lawsuit challenging the law. You can read about it in this article, which contains a link to the lawsuit itself: http://freeandequalpa.wordpress.com/summary-of-applewhite-petition/
T&B T June 16, 2012 at 11:34 AM
You SHOULD need proper ID to vote. I can think of only one REAL reason to attempt to block this common sense requirement ...It's called voter fraud.
Ed M June 16, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Interesting. Then maybe the law needs to be extended to other types of photo ID's but the law is not unconstitutional just because someone can't get the required ID.
MSgt. John DeLallo June 16, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Get serious, Fitzgerald. You lied your way into office ("I'm all about savings."), and now you want to protect all the dead bodies in Riverview and Allegheny cemetery that voted for you. Voter fraud is not a problem, according to you and others. If its not a problem, then neither is voter I.D. And oh, by the way, you clowns NEVER mention that even without I.D., a vote can be cast on a provisional ballot. The very idea that someone will be denied suffrage is an outright lie!
ED June 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM
It's comforting to know that the Allegheny County Democrats have not lost their touch. They are still lying awake nights trying to think of new ways to waste the taxpayer's money.

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