The state House of Representatives has given the green light to legislation that Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, sponsored, which will require voters to show photo identification before they vote at the polls.
The measure will next hit the desk of Gov. Tom Corbett, who has indicated he plans to sign the bill into law, the Patriot-News reports.
“Pennsylvania is now one signature away from implementing a proven, fraud-preventing mechanism to ensure that voters are who they claim to be when exercising their inalienable right to privately cast their vote,” Metcalfe said in a statement. “Authenticating one citizen-one vote ownership by requiring the display of valid photo ID at the polling place is essential to replacing the centuries-old stigma of corruption at the ballot box with the enduring American ideals of integrity and accountability.”
Representatives approved House Bill 934 , 104-88, on Wednesday after three days of debate. The GOP-controlled Senate approved the measure, 26-23, last week.
The law is expected to take effect in April, in time for the primary election, according to Metcalfe.
The bill requires voters to present valid, non-expired photo identification before voting. Acceptable types of identification include IDs that the state or federal government issue such as a driver’s license, a military identification card or a passport.
Photo identification cards from state-accredited colleges and universities, state-licensed care facilities and municipal employers also will be accepted.
Metcalfe said the bill would prevent impersonation at the polls, fictitious registrations, double-voting and voting by illegal aliens.
“Currently in Pennsylvania it is impossible to board a commercial airplane, cash a paycheck, operate a motor vehicle or even purchase prescription eyeglasses without displaying a valid photo ID,” he said. “Guaranteeing the integrity of our state’s election process and ensuring that no vote will be canceled out by the forces of corruption deserves no less than equal protection under the law through the Pennsylvania Voter Identification Protection Act.”