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