Schmotzer Supports Reforms for New Voter ID Law
The state representative said that people who didn't vote in the primary election said things like, 'I served in World War II or Korea ... I shouldn't have to show a photo ID.'
State Rep. Martin Michael Schmotzer, a Democrat from Whitehall Borough, supports a package of Pennsylvania House bills designed to reduce problems caused by the state's new voter ID law that Gov. Tom Corbett and Republican legislators enacted earlier this year.
- Use new technology and mobile outreach to help registered voters obtain the photo identification now needed to cast a ballot;
- Waive the Pennsylvania birth certificate fee for people who need the certificate to obtain state-issued photo ID; and
- Create an online voter registration system, as nine states have already done.
"I appreciate the proactive stance Rep. Frankel has taken," Schmotzer said. "In an era where only about 20 percent of the people vote in a primary election, we should be making it easier to exercise the constitutional right to vote—not harder."
Schmotzer said that the media and many public officials criticize people for not voting, but the new voter ID law throws barriers in citizens' way.
"I talked recently with several people who didn't vote in the primary," he said. "Some of them were under the impression the law was fully in effect for this past primary, when in fact, it was not. Many of them said things like, 'I served in World War II or Korea, and I've been a good citizen for 50 years. I shouldn't have to show a photo ID when I've been voting in the same place for years.'
"And I agree with them."
The voter ID law is "simply a voter suppression bill, and I thought those were outlawed years ago," Schmotzer said, adding that he is "proud to support the 'Every Vote Counts' package of bills that would restore this vital civil right."
More information about the new law's requirements is available online at www.pahouse.com/VoterID.asp or by contacting Schmotzer's office at 412-343-2094.
Sign up for the daily Baldwin-Whitehall newsletter.