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Bringing Voter ID Services into Communities

With the election over, State Sen. Wayne Fontana shares concern for those who still need proper identification to vote.

I have written many times over the last several months of the need for the administration to make the process of obtaining a voter ID more simple and convenient for voters who lack photo identification and wish to vote.

Since the Commonwealth Court issued an injunction requiring a stay in the implementation of the Voter ID law for the November general election, there has been ample time to consider how to improve the process by which voters lacking an acceptable photo ID under the law can obtain the appropriate credentials.

Regardless of your position on the photo ID requirement spelled out in Act 18, if the law is ultimately going to take effect, our Commonwealth should be making the process of obtaining a photo ID more convenient.  

Over the last several months, I repeatedly asked the administration to authorize all state offices, including 253 elected officials’ offices, as neighborhood centers, where voters could go to secure a photo ID needed in order to vote. My request was denied. I then requested that our offices should at least have the ability to serve as intermediaries, providing the necessary forms, copying proofs of residency, taking photos, and sending all the information to PennDOT. PennDOT would then have the ability to verify these documents and once verified, make the photo ID card and mail it directly to the voter. This, too, was denied.

In the event the court ultimately allows Act 18 to take full effect for the spring primary election and beyond, now is the time where we should be working together to ensure that any voter who needs a photo ID has an opportunity to get one. You can visit my website at www.senatorfontana.com or click on this link to read the letter I sent to the Governor and Secretary of State on Dec. 6, asking them to reconsider their position and work with me toward guaranteeing that all Pennsylvanians have a right to vote.

 

Senator Wayne D. Fontana

42nd Senatorial District

www.senatorfontana.com

MSgt. John DeLallo December 12, 2012 at 03:41 PM
With all due respect, Senator, I think this has been fairly well beaten to death. How many folks have actually contacted your office because they had no acceptable form of I.D. Let's make a deal. Spend the 5 dollar surcharge that the legislature charged under fast Eddy Spendell for Licenses to Carry Firearms on equipment to go mobile into the neighborhoods. While I still believe its criminal to charge for a Constitutionally guaranteed right, it is the law. Rather than having to jump through Sherrif Mullen's hoops, how about doing what Jon Held does in Westmoreland County? While you're at it, you can explain to folks that the LTCF IS an acceptable form of photo I.D., thereby killing two birds with one stone.
erika December 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Great work, senator. I appreciate your effort to help ensure that everybody, regardless of class and/or mobility, will hopefully get the opportunity to vote.
JS December 12, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Thanks Senator for fighting for the voting rights off ALL citizens. Bet you didn't think you'd be goaded into a 2nd ammendment discussion with this post, did you? Seems to happen a lot on the Patch.
Mike December 13, 2012 at 02:21 PM
"With all due respect, Senator, I think this has been fairly well beaten to death" I agree! Stop hijacking posts with your gun fascination. We get it, you're obsessed with firearms. Try hijacking threads with another one of your hobbies. Do you collect stamps? Raise chickens? Play volleyball? Knit?
Mike December 13, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Thank you Senator Fontana for your hard work on this issue.
MSgt. John DeLallo December 13, 2012 at 03:52 PM
NOT goading. There was a 5 dollar fee charged on top of the regular LTCF fee for "upgrades", including mobile licensing equipment. They do it regularly in Westmoreland County, why not in Allegheny County? Simply asking why not kill two birds with one stone. You don't even have to own a gun to have a LTCF. Some folks may think the 20 dollar fee for a 5 year license (4 bucks a year) is worth it if they don't have to travel to the Sherrifs office. Still haven't seen a response to my question. Rather than ask the Senator, who is no doubt far too occupied to respond directly, I'll ask you. How many folks of voting age do you know that have NO acceptable identification? If its only 1 or 2, will you volunteer to take them to Bridgeville and have the Drivers License center issue a free I.D.? I will, if I can find someone.

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