For Immediate Release Common Cause Pennsylvania Condemns State Senate Passage of Voter Suppression Act

Written by Barry Kauffman on March 7, 2012


For Information Contact:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Barry Kauffman, Executive Director

(717) 232-9951, or

Common Cause Pennsylvania Condemns State Senate Passage of Voter Suppression Act

"Today's shameful vote in the Pennsylvania Senate will cause actual harm to Pennsylvania voters, likely disenfranchising tens of thousands of legitimate voters, and possibly causing thousands of others to leave the polling place because they cannot wait in the long lines this legislation will probably create" said Barry Kauffman, Executive Director of Common Cause/PA. "To add injury to insult, this legislation may cost upward to $11 million to properly implement, with many costs recurring at each election, all in an effort to stop voter impersonation fraud that the PA Department of State acknowledges there is no record to prove exists."

By the slimist of margins, the PA Senate passed the 2012 Voter Suppression Act today. With a bare constitutional majority of one vote, the Senate returns HB-934 to the House for a concurrence vote on Senate amendments. It is expected to pass in the House and go immediately to the governor, who has indicated he will sign the bill.

The legislation was opposed by more than 40 voting rights, civil rights and government integrity organizations, who showed the bill will cause real harm to Pennsylvania voters - especially senior citizens, the disabled, minorities, and college students. While the law takes effect immediately, people will be permitted to vote in the April 24th primary without showing a state approved photo ID. At all subsequent elections, Pennsylvania voters will have to show photo ID or vote by provisional ballots - but the provisional ballot will not count unless the voter goes to the county election Board within 6 days of the election to present photo ID.

At a time when PA state and county governments are scraping for every cent they can find to fund basic public services, this new law will cost nearly $11 million to properly implement, with many costs recurring at each election. While the PA Department of State acknowledges it has no records of the voter impersonation fraud this new law pretends to prevent, the Voter Suppression Act will make the lines to vote longer and will disenfranchise tens of thousands of Pennsylvania voters who do not have valid state approved photo IDs.

Office: Common Cause Pennsylvania

Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

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