A bill that would require voters to present a photo ID every time they cast a ballot passed the state House of Representatives Thursday after weeks of debate and political wrangling. The measure received a mostly partisan 108-88 vote in the Republican-controlled House.
Critics say the bill will suppress turnout among the elderly and minorities, but supporters contend that their only goal is to combat voter fraud. During Thursday’s final debate, Luzerne County Democrat Gerald Mullery, who’s also an attorney, argued that a similar law passed in Indiana resulted in valid court challenges and costly legal battles. He predicted the same fate here if Pennsylvania enacts a voter ID law. During debate on the constitutionality of the bill, Lancaster County Republican Bryan Cutler countered that Pennsylvania already has some voter restrictions in place, and requires a photo ID from first-time voters and those voting for the first time at a new polling place.
Chester County Republican Chris Ross cast the only “no” vote in the Republican caucus. All Democrats present in the chamber voted against the bill, which now heads to the state Senate.