Pennsylvania House Panel Advances Plan To Require ID To Vote

Harrisburg Patriot-News

The House State Government Committee approved a measure today that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls before being allowed to vote.

The bill, by state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, would allow any state or federal government-issued ID, such as drivers license, state ID and passport to be used. Identification issued by other levels of government or other entities would not count.

The committee, which voted 15-9 to approve the bill along party lines, rejected the 14 amendments offered by Democrats during its two-and-a-half hour debate.

The panel did approve one amendment which would provide a free state-issued ID to anyone who does not have one and needs it to vote. Metcalfe said he did not yet have information as to how much that would cost the state.

Some of the rejected amendments would have exempted senior citizens or people with disabilities from having to show ID each time they vote. Others would have allowed a voter registration card or county/township-issued IDs to be used at the polls.

Metcalfe’s measure will not affect next week’s primary election or the general election in November. The bill would be in effect for the 2012 elections.

The bill now heads to the full state House for consideration.

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