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Teacher Plans Rally, Circulates Petition Asking Pennsylvanians to Reject Voter ID Law

The petition has already garnered more than 2,000 signatures.

More than 2,000 people have already signed a petition urging Allegheny County's elections manager not enforce the new statewide voter ID law.

Created by local 8th grade school teacher Steven Singer, of White Oak, the petition will be presented to election division manager Mark Wolosik at 1 p.m. Tuesday in downtown Pittsburgh.

mandates that each voter present a valid photo ID on election day at the polls, a stipulation that opponents have said will ultimately prevent the poor, the elderly, and people of color in Pennsylvania from voting.

"These demographic groups typically lean Democratic and local state Rep. Mike Turzai,R-Allegheny County, " petition organizer Singer said in a statement. "The law is purportedly intended to prevent voter fraud, a problem that representatives from both parties have acknowledged doesn’t really exist in the state."

Singer’s petition will directly challenge the elections manager for Allegheny Count to reject the new law, and to the full extent of his legal authority, refuse to enforce it.

“As a middle school teacher in a district with a large segment of minority and poor residents, many of my students’ parents will be directly affected by this new law,” Singer explained. “This confusing and discriminatory law could prevent up to 758,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania from casting their ballot come Election Day and I couldn’t sit back and watch that happen.”

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The petition includes signatures and testimonies from other Pennsylvanians who are concerned "about the chaos" this new law might foster on Election Day and others who are "outraged that their loved ones might now be shut out from their polling places."

One Pittsburgh resident who signed the petition lamented: “My 88 year-old mother can’t find her birth certificate and has no dated photo ID.”

Singer, of White Oak, is no stranger to citizen advocacy.

He is also the co-founder of the group Tell Everyone All Cuts Hurt, known as T.E.A.C.H., which was organized more than two years ago to protest cuts to K-12 education funding in the state.

To read the full petition, click here.

Editor's Note: To hear Singer discuss the petition during a recent radio appearance, click here.

What do you think about the petition? Would you like to see a similar petition go to the Butler County Elections Bureau? What are your thoughts on the Voter ID law? Leave your opinions in the comment section below.

Marilyn J. Kuenzig August 16, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Obviously none of you know how hard it is to get a non driver id. Well believe me you are wrong, wrong, wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a 92 year old mother who has voted in the same polling place for 70 years. She has never driven. She had a non driver id that we did not know expired. The state does not mail renewal applications when these id's are about to expire. First we went to Pleasant Hills AAA voter center to see if we could get it renewed. They could give her a temporary renewal till the end of the year for $13.50. Next we went to Penn Hills and was told that since she still has her photo ID they could retake her picture but that she would have to stand in two separate lines for a minimum of at least 2 hours, and that is on a slow day. NOW HOW DO YOU MAKE A 92 YEAR OLD stand for at least two hours. If the state really wanted to make this law correct they should have grandfathered the law to permit people who have voted in the same area, (which by the way if you never checked when you voted, they have a photo copy of your signature on file at all polling places in Allegheny County)to not need an ID. If you are changing polling places or have moved into a different area I can see the need for a photo ID not for long time residents of the same polling area.Also why didn't they set up areas for ease of access for photos, schools,community centers, etc.Hopefully this will all backfire on our state criminal legislators.
Tom Harkins October 02, 2012 at 05:58 PM
This story is disturbing on several levels. 1. To quote the article 'One Pittsburgh resident who signed the petition lamented: “My 88 year-old mother can’t find her birth certificate and has no dated photo ID.”'. I hope your 88 year old mother never has to fly!!!!!! 2. Has anyone else ever noticed when they interview someone it's never the person being interviewed that is going to have a problem. It's always someone they know. Please, point this person out and we'll make sure they have a valid ID.
Tom Harkins October 02, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Finally 3. Is anyone else even slightly disturbed by a teacher, of all people, passing a petition to ask a public official to disregard a law he doesn't agree with? Here was a statement made by this same teacher from an email I received. 'As a Pittsburgh area school teacher, there's a video I show my students about the Civil Rights Movement that always makes me cry. An activist beaten during Bloody Sunday speaks about the Voting Rights Act of 1965, saying "The right to vote, we did that. That is done." The kids and I kind of mutually agree not to look at each other at that moment, because some of them are tearing up, too. I feel kind of like that today. I doubt that unnamed activist would have guessed that the right he thought he had won would ever be challenged again, but perhaps that is the lesson we can all take from the voter ID battle.' I'm confident Mr. Singer is making sure his students are aware that a higher percentage of Repulicans voted in favor of the Voters Rights Act than did the Democrats. I'm sure he's also made his students aware that Bull Conner and George Wallace along with a majority of the segregationist south were Democrats and that most importantly Dr King was a REPUBLICAN! I'm always amazed at story like this. Democrats scream racism evertime the Republicans open their mouths. Republicans scream the liberals are trying to destroy the country because they say people should be allowed to marry who they like. This is why I became an independent.
Tom Harkins October 02, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Marilyn, if they are asking her to stand in line for 2 hours than you need to find another location or time. Also, a simple internet search would have directed you to the PA Voter ID Coalition. A group formed to transport the elderly to an ID center.

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