By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A few dozen community leaders, including block captains and committee persons attended a voter ID workshop at the Dixon House in Southwest Philadelphia on Saturday morning. It is all a part of a grassroots effort to reach to mobilize voters following the Democratic National Convention.
“Every elected official should be involved,” says Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. He hosted the workshop, along with State Representative Harold James (186th Legislative District) and says after attending the DNC last week. “Our sole charge is to go back to the city of Philadelphia, organize our individual neighborhoods and communities, block by block, house by house, knock on doors to make sure people are registered to vote.”
State Rep. James’ office handed out packets of information, including forms for obtaining ID, and birth certificates, as well as info on the voter ID law and absentee ballots. “The ultimate goal is to make sure everybody has the proper ID and that everybody comes out to vote,” says James. “It seems like it hard for people to get voter IDs. I am going to send a letter to the governor this week to ask them to use state representatives offices as mobile units where people can get voter IDs. I think using the state reps offices ensures that voters have access.”
Pat Cormier lives in Southwest Philadelphia and says she attended the event to ensure those on the community have what they need to vote and will show up at the polls.
“This is personal. I vote all the time,” she says. “I have never seen things like this. People are frustrated. The new law is deterring people and a lot of people don’t have that get up and go and they give up. But I don’t give up. I got a lot of people registered to vote and I am going to get more registered.”
Megan Sweeney from the Pennsylvania Department of State attended the event and says, DOS representatives are available for any community group that wants to educate voters about the ID requirements. “Secretary Aichele gave us one number- 8.2 million- the number of registered voters in Pennsylvania. And we are reaching out to as many of those voters as possible.” She says community leaders can call 1-877-VOTES-PA to get someone from the state to come to an event.
For more info on voterID, go to votespa.com.