HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – A controversial measure that would require Pennsylvania voters to show a photo ID when they turn go to the polls has cleared a state House committee.

Generally, Republicans on the House State Government Committee supported the voter photo ID requirement as a means of preventing fraud, while Democrats opposed it, saying it creates an unnecessary hurdle to voting.

Democratic state representative Steve Samuelson sparred with the bill’s sponsor, committee chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler County), over whether to require people who don’t have a state or federal government-issued photo ID to get one.

(Samuelson:)  “That is an extra trip we don’t currently require for somebody to exercise their franchise to vote. The current process is you register to vote, you go to the polling place, and you vote.”

(Metcalfe:)  “Most of us believe the current process is irresponsible, in that we don’t require people to prove they are who they say they are.  So this would just be doing what we should have done all along.”

A spokesman for House majority Republican leadership says the bill has support but is not on a fast track for a full House vote.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg Bureau chief Tony Romeo

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