Sponsors of the law — all Republicans — say the obstacles are overstated. State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe said in a radio interview last week that anyone who wants a photo ID can get one.
“We have a lot of people out there that are too lazy to … get up and get out there and get the ID they need,” Metcalfe told the host.
He and other Republicans say photo IDs are necessary to prevent voter fraud, though the state acknowledged in court that fraud is not a serious problem.
The story largely follows two women, Beverly Mitchell, 68, and Kathleen Herbert, 65, as they try to comply with this law.
Herbert and Mitchell are going to the DMV because they want to make sure they will be able to vote this fall. Depending on how a Pennsylvania judge rules on the state’s controversial new voter ID law, they might need to show a valid photo ID before they can punch a ballot.
Ultimately, thanks to a non-profit that provides them with rides from a Philadelphia senior center, they’re able to make it to the DMV. Herbert has MS and is in a motorized wheelchair so without that kind of assistance, this would be an especially undue burden on her.
After almost two hours, Herbert’s number is finally called. She’s surprised when the clerk tells her she’ll have to pay $13.50 to update her ID. Voter ID is supposed to be free. After [the non-profit’s representative] intervenes, the clerk offers another option that is free.
I truly hope Metcalfe and the other sponsors of the bill hear about the senior citizens in this story, and the thousands of others across the state that didn’t have journalists following them, that they have called lazy and have the good sense to feel ashamed of themselves.
My mother is 78 and hasn’t driven in years. I hope she has ID because she’s easily intimidated and I can’t imagine her fighting for her right to an ID. She’s a registered Republican but she voted for Obama in 2008 and she’d would vote for him again…if she’s allowed. Come on Pennsylvania, let that old woman vote!
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- juliettabuttercup said: I listened to this too. The lawmaker’s remarks are truly ridiculous. I’m glad there are non-profits out there advocating for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get IDs.
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