Allegheny County Officials Challenge State Voter ID Law

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. today on efforts to block the law.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and county controller Chelsa Wagner are among the officials planning a challenge , which was signed by Gov. Tom Corbett in March.

Sponsored by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry,the law requires voters to show photo identification before they vote at the polls. After a dry run in the May primary, it is scheduled to take effect for the Nov. 6 general election.

Wagner argues the law violates the Pennsylvania Constitution and federal laws guaranteeing free and equal access to the polls while placing an unfunded mandate on county taxpayers.

“No elected official in our democracy should prevent citizens from voting,” Wagner said in a statement on the Allegheny County website. “We will not stand for this in Allegheny County, and we will not stand for this in Pennsylvania—our nation’s birthplace.

Every elected official must do everything in their power to increase voter participation, not limit it, regardless of party or demographics.”

Wagner will join Fitzgerald at a 2 p.m. press conference today to detail efforts to block the law.  

The county controller, a Democrat, has endorsed efforts in the courts to keep the law from taking effect before the election and said her office will file an amicus brief in the challenge to the law now pending in Commonwealth Court.

“The cost of implementing Voter ID statewide has been estimated at $11 million, with no aid from the state, so the governor is creating another unfunded mandate for all 67 counties,” Wagner said. “As Pennsylvania’s second-largest county, with large populations of urban, elderly and student voters who would be most harmed, Allegheny County would shoulder a huge financial burden implementing Voter ID.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, the Advancement Project, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and the Washington, D.C., law firm of Arnold & Porter last month asked appeals court judges to overturn the law, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Metcalfe has said the law, which was championed by the GOP party, would prevent impersonation at the polls, fictitious registrations, double-voting and voting by illegal aliens. 

What do you think? Do you support the Voter ID Law? Is it unconstitutional? Leave you opinion in the comment section below.


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