HARRISBURG– State Rep. Dwight Evans, D-Phila., and Rep. Ronald G. Waters, D-Phila./Delaware, today said that they are joining forces on legislation that would repeal Pennsylvania’s costly and ill-advised voter-suppression measure.
“The legacy of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law — Act 18 of 2012 – is one of divisiveness and costliness and is an affront to Democratic and Republican principles,” Evans said. “The sooner we rid the commonwealth of this embarrassment then the sooner we can focus time, efforts and money on Pennsylvania’s real and pressing problems.”
“Pennsylvania has spent millions of dollars chasing zero confirmed cases of in-person voter fraud,” said Waters, the House Democratic Caucus secretary. “Before another dime for disenfranchisement, let’s end this charade.”
The southeastern Pennsylvania Democrats noted that a state judge is scheduled to resume hearings in July for a permanent injunction against the law. An injunction would allow time for the judge to issue a decision that could be reviewed before the general election in November.
The parties involved in the lawsuit last week agreed to extend the preliminary injunction through the May 21 primary election, meaning voters in the spring will be asked but not required to show identification, just as they were in last November’s general election.
“We’ve burdened PennDOT with devising numerous identification-card schemes, yet less than 20,000 people have been able to obtain one of these voter IDs,” Evans noted. “Let’s repeal this measure and quit wasting taxpayer dollars on ruses reminiscent of poll taxes and Jim Crow laws.”
“Act 18 has kept lawyers busy and taxpayers footing the bill for imaginary voter fraud,” Waters said. “It also did not ‘allow’ Mitt Romney to win the presidency.
“So, let’s stop installing costly roadblocks to the elderly, the young and the poor exercising their constitutional rights to vote,” Waters said. “Those who perpetrated the myth of voter fraud need to realize that you don’t drown taxpayers by falling in murky waters; you drown them by failing to get them out of the abyss.”
The lawmakers said they are seeking co-sponsors for their legislation. The measure, similar to last session’s H.B. 2313, would halt the lawsuits and repeal Act 18, which was signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett on March 14, 2012.