Group Rallies in Philadelphia To Publicize, Criticize Pennsylvania’s New Voter ID Law

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A voters’ rights group held a rally today at a Penndot driver’s licensing center in center city Philadelphia, to get the word out about the new voter ID law.

“It is the state’s responsibility to fulfill the promises it made when it passed this law,” says Philadelphia city commissioner Stephanie Singer, who thinks that thousands of Philadelphians could be affected by the new law which requires citizens to present a photo ID in order to vote.

Singer says the problem will be making sure the state tells voters where and how to get a free photo ID.

“They have not yet issued a decisive list of exactly which IDs are appropriate for voting and which are not,” she tells KYW Newsradio.  “They need to make sure that Penndot is doing what it is supposed to be doing under the law.”

Philadelphia NAACP branch president Jerry Mondesire says the goal of the coalition’s effort is to find kinks in the system.

“We want to show the public that it’s going to cost a lot of money, a lot of man- and woman-hours to process all these non-driving photo IDs.  They say it’s going to be ‘free,’ so we are going to test the system,” Mondesire (wearing cowboy hat in top photo) said.

So far, the system appears to be working.   Tina (below) says getting her free voter ID at the Penndot Center at 8th and Arch Streets was fast and easy.

tina gets voter id  gregg Group Rallies in Philadelphia To Publicize, Criticize Pennsylvanias New Voter ID Law

(Credit: Cherri Gregg)

“I gave my name, I gave my number.  I stood in line, they gave me what I needed. I was in and out in 20 minutes,” Tina said.

Pennsylvania state senator Anthony Williams (D-Phila.) says even if the process is easy, forcing citizens to go through the hassle of getting a photo identification disenfranchises voters:

“In order to get your license, you have to pay for something like a birth certificate in order to get the license.  So to say it’s ‘free’ is duplicitous.   It’s not free — it’s going to cost you time to get here, it’s going to cost you money to get the supporting license.  So it’s not free.”

Williams says it could cost the state up to $11 million to provide citizens with free photos IDs, money he says the state just does not have.

Mondesire says the NAACP and other groups are gearing up to file a series of lawsuits across the state.

More from Cherri Gregg
  • Bill H

    Sounds like a lot of voter fraud must go on that so many people are making such a huge issue out of this. There ar eprobably a lot of elderly people not going out to vote so someone else votes for them instead.

  • grumpy

    For well over 200 years, this form of Democracy has worked very well thank you, until the Teapublicans came about…………………. A solution looking for a problem!
    This sponsored by a party that cannot even give an accurate vote count in their own primaries? It’s the COUNTING STUPIDS, Not the voting!

  • Amanda

    PhillyRN and Mel, if you only interact with people who are exactly like you, then it’s obvious why you fail to see why this is a problem. I work with low-income and elderly people every day for whom getting ID is a huge obstacle. Going to the movies? Going to the liquor store? Opening a bank account? Many of my clients do none of these things and have gotten by without an ID until now. Lots of elderly people are not mobile and God knows that many of the family members of the folks at my center aren’t going bother helping them get ID. NOT everyone has an ID and for many of those people, it is very unlikely that they will be able to get one. Republicans have invented the problem of voter fraud to suppress the votes of the poor, young, and elderly. If fraud were a real, demonstrated problem then by all means something would have to be done. But the fact is, it is not a problem and for a party that hates spending money so much, this is going to be a colossal waste of funds. I hope it backfires. I have never volunteered before in voter drives, but this makes me just angry enough to do it this year and hopefully many others will follow suit.

  • In Center City, some seek voter IDs, others protest new law – Philadelphia Inquirer :: Center City Local

    […] CBS Local […]

  • Laura

    I agree – I think it is ridiculous that the NAACP and others are making this into an issue. In order to minimize fraud, show your ID. What are you afraid of??

    • Johan

      Did Ben Franklin or George Washington have a picture ID when they went to vote? Did the writers of our constitution require a picture ID to vote. This just shows you how far away the right wing is taking us from the constitution.

  • Roman Doroshenko

    Get an ID like everyone else!!! Even the president has ID, fake or not, he has it.

  • celtvin

    I guess those same people would rather have the Black Panthers stand around with their weapons to make sure everything is illegal!

  • lonnae

    The problem with your logic is that not all forms of ID are acceptable. You MUST have a government issued ID or college ID or nursing home ID. Voting is a right under the law and the law does not demand ID. This is nothing but a move by Republicans to try to keep Obama from winning, but it won’t work. I hope they heep it up. It guarantees Obama a win.

    • PhillyRN

      Why all of the drama then? Few people today have no ID, and they need a photo ID anyone, so this law is helping them to get their photo ID. One more reason to get it done.

      Checking photo IDs is not too burdensome or costly. It’s easy. Getting one is easy. Ask Tina.

      Why all the psychodrama?

      • Another Jean

        If you are an elderly person living alone, you probably don’t have a driver’s license, and you probably cannot easily go to a place that will issue one. Polling places are usually closer to one’s home than is the nearest photo license center. So, do you really think it’s okay to keep a ninety-year-old veteran from voting based on a problem that is nearly non-existent? All of the people who think this is no big deal are obviously young and mobile enough to go anywhere they choose. Not everyone is so fortunate.

  • Mel

    I do not understand what these people are screaming about. You have to have ID to get into movies sometimes, to buy liquor to even open a bank account. Why would you not be asked to provide ID when voting? What would happen if someone took these peoples vote from them? If someone voted in their place they would be screaming to have a law. Get over it! They don’t like the law because illegals can’t vote now. People usually have at least one form of photo ID nowadays anyway. You need ID to get your welfare checks and unemployment checks don’t you?

    • Johan

      Voting is a right guarenteed to us in the constitution. Going to the movies or cashing a check is not.

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