Oppose PA House Bill 934, the Voter ID Bill

Please oppose Pennsylvania House Bill 934, which would prevent thousands of Pennsylvania citizens from voting.

House Bill 934, the “Voter ID Bill,” which passed in the PA House of Representatives last fall, is under consideration by the Senate. The Voter ID Bill would require all citizens, except for those with religious objections, to produce a photo identification card in order to vote. The photo identification would have to be issued by the government, an accredited Pennsylvania public or private institution of higher learning or a Pennsylvania care facility.

Proponents of the Bill claim that the legislation is necessary to combat voter fraud. However, there is no evidence that voter fraud is a problem in Pennsylvania. The real effect of the legislation would be to keep thousands of otherwise eligible Pennsylvania citizens from voting.

A recent study conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law shows that 11% of U.S. citizens lack photo ID. Disproportionately, those without photo ID tend to be elderly, minority, indigent or disabled citizens.

The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. The stability of our democracy and the confidence of the people in our government depend upon the right to vote being easy to exercise. A proposed law that would have the effect of making it more difficult for any citizen to vote must be weighed against the problem to be solved by such legislation. The Voter ID Bill fails this test.

The Philadelphia Bar Association has opposed similar legislation introduced in previous sessions of the General Assembly, and opposes House Bill 934 as an unnecessary impediment to the exercise of a citizen’s right to vote.

The Philadelphia Bar Association urges its members to contact their state senators to discuss with them the importance of voting rights and the negative impact of the Voter ID Bill. A personal contact, either face-to-face or by telephone, can be highly persuasive. An incisive letter is another effective tool to get your point across. Use the format letter on this page to get started. Be sure to personalize the letter to increase the likelihood that your point of view will be noticed. Take action today on the issues that will make Pennsylvania a better place to live and work.