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Voter ID Bill Would Disenfranchise Elderly, Advocate Says

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A group providing legal services to senior citizens is worried that a bill requiring most people to have a photo ID to vote will disenfranchise many elders.

The bill, passed by the Pennsylvania House, awaits action in the Senate, and Karen Buck (pictured), executive director of the SeniorLAW Center, is hoping these politicians heed her objections: that an estimated 18% of seniors no longer have government issued ID’s, and some would have a devil of a time getting one.

“We do understand that people say you need photo ID for lots of things today and we certainly understand that argument, but traveling or going into a business or certain types of transactions cannot be equated with a fundamental right of citizenship such as the right to vote.”

buck Voter ID Bill Would Disenfranchise Elderly, Advocate Says

Karen Buck (Photo provided by SeniorLAW Center)

Buck says getting an ID may be complicated by poverty, mobility and access issues, “Folks don’t readily have access to original birth certificates often when you’re in your 70’s, 80’s or older, and in fact there was a whole class of African-American elders who were denied the right of official birth certification when born in certain areas of the United States.”

Buck calls the ID idea an onerous restriction on a fundamental right.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060

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  • Farnham

    How about the Supervisor of Elections sending out employees to issue photo IDs at nursing homes, community centers, libraries, condos etc. on a regular schedule. The elderly would have time to get whatever proof needed for the photo ID. If you have an 80 year old person with no ID, that person was born in 1931, record keeping was pretty good. Most likely when that person was 20 (in 1951) they had some form of ID which may still be available from a govt. agencies archives. Everyone should have some form of picture ID in todays world

  • grumpy

    Let’s see, we have a Republican Governor and a Republican majority in the Legislature So where is this wide spread Democrat voter fraud?
    If we are in this cut,cut,cut mode then why are we willing to fund this multimillion dollar I.D bill? Didn’t the authorities just uncover a fake photo I.D ring that had thousands of these fakes in their inventory?
    It’s just another ploy by the right to avoid the “where’s the jobs” issue.

  • Matt Balazik

    This article confuses the issue with a red herring. You already have to show ID the first time you vote at a polling place, so no voting senior is being disenfranchised. They meerly need to bring that ID every time they vote.

  • Tim

    There is no disenfranchisement issue here. Getting some sort of legally acceptable picture ID would be no more difficult than obtaining an ACCESS card for food stamps here in Pennsylvania. The poor have been able to do that without a problem for years now.

  • Linda

    I agree photo or voter ID is a great idea because of all the fraud committed in the last election, its the Dummos who are against it.

  • David Kveragas

    If you and others who are fighting this idea, such as the guy in the article, actually took the time to read the bill you would see that it mandates FREE photo ID to all applicants who cannot get one otherwise.
    But then why let facts get in the way of political rhetoric and knee jerk reactions.

  • Blondie

    For those who vote at the same polling place, year after year, this is NOT an issue. It’s been decades since I was asked to show my ID, and when I did, it was my voter registration card.

  • Scott

    democrats oppose this only because it will end most voter fraud which is the reason many of them “win” elections in the first place

  • Francis Graff

    Photo Identification in the 21 st century is a necessary pocket piece. They are needed for flying, driving, check cashing, gun permits, getting in bars, buying a car, and most important to this issue of voting. You need one to even register to vote. So who are these anti-ID people think they are kidding. The democrats don’t want them because they know the fraud that is taking place out there in the polling places, in the poor area’s. Wholsesale fraud. I am running for council at large on the Independent ticket, because I was challenged because people didn’t sign their names “exactly” as they do when they vote. Leave out an initial or use a nickname and wham, you don’t count. Many candidates disregard the law of notarizing petitiuons, by gathering them up from circulator’s and having a party member arbitrarily notarize the signature. I have the evidence and I will be pursuing the issue, if you elect me in November. I served PennDot 30 years clearing snow from the Interstate system, and I intend to clear some offices in Cuty Hall. Say Yes to I.D at the polling place, it will be an advatage to every candidate trying to get elected. By the way, I am a senior citizen, and I don’t know one person without some form of photo I.d. We obey the rules, so stop exploiting us. We are tired of the bull.

    • AnotherJean

      Many people, probably much older than you, don’t fly, drive, cash checks, buy guns, go to bars, OR buy cars. Nor do many poor people. Those same people probably have old but valid voter registration cards, which should be honored. The number of voter fraud cases is miniscule. This is a deliberate attempt to give Republicans an unfair advantage.

      • Fed up

        Are you serious? There is so much voter fraud it isn’t even funny. You’re obviously a democrat and probably think Obama is doing a great job. All voters should have to show valid, state issued ID, or passport and we need to stop absentee ballots. Perhaps the state can issue state ID cards for free to the elderly and people who are at the poverty level. I would be in favor of a grant for this. In this day and age with retinal scanners and full body airport scanners I think we can come up with some form of technology for the population who you “claim” do not have valid ID to prove who they are.

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