– Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) today joined a majority in the state House in supporting the Voting Rights Protection Act, a comprehensive reform measure that, among other things, would require voters to present identification when casting their ballots.
“When you talk about election integrity, having a voter ID law is absolutely imperative,” Causer said. “We show ID for most everything we do – except voting, which is one of the most important rights and responsibilities we have as citizens. It’s not asking too much for people to present ID to show they are who they say they are when they exercise their right to vote.”
Causer emphasized the proposal would require identification be provided to all voters to ensure they can meet the requirement. Already, Pennsylvania voters are issued a paper Certificate of Voter Registration (often called a voter registration card) with a unique identification number; the bill would require those cards be upgraded to durable, scannable Voter Registration Identification Cards. Any voter who forgets his or her ID could vote normally after signing an affidavit that both affirms his or her identity and warns of the penalties for perjury provided for in the act.
“We already require people to present ID when voting for the first time in a new polling place, so this is an expansion of that policy,” Causer explained. “There is broad, bipartisan support for enacting voter ID requirements in the Commonwealth. It’s a reasonable step to improve the integrity and security of our elections.”
House Bill 1300
would further tighten election security by requiring risk-limiting audits in all elections, as well as audits of the Department of State and the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors every five years; enhancing certification processes for all machines used in elections; requiring signature verification using ballot scanning equipment for mail-in and absentee ballots; and more.
To address issues raised by local election officials, the bill would allow earlier counting of mail-in ballots, moving it from no earlier than 7 a.m. on Election Day to five days before Election Day. It would also move the last day to register to vote back to 30 days prior to an election, as it was before its recent shift to closer to elections.
The bill is the result of a series of hearings that reviewed all aspects of the state’s election process. It now goes to the Senate for its consideration. Learn more about House Bill 1300 here