HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Pennsylvania Republicans, who now control both the state House and Senate, have begun a new effort to require photo IDs for voters at polling places.

As the House state government committee held a hearing on a voter photo ID bill, the ranking Democrat on the panel, Philadelphia’s Babette Josephs, said with all of the major issues facing the state and the country, people may be especially energized to vote.

“Now, it seems to me, is precisely the wrong time to start making it more difficult for people to vote,” Josephs said.

Delaware County Democrat Greg Vitali expressed fears that it would disenfranchise some voters, particularly in urban areas like Philadelphia. “Poor people, people who are not of the world of driver’s licenses and credit cards.”

But a senior legal fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Hans von Spakovsky, cited a study by the Universities of Delaware and Nebraska-Lincoln. “At both the aggregate and individual levels they found that voter ID laws do not affect turnout, including across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines.”

Five years ago, when Republicans also had control of both chambers, a voter ID bill passed, but was vetoed by then-Governor Ed Rendell.

Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060