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The Pennsylvania State Senate passed a “controversial” bill today requiring voters to present photo identification when they cast their ballots.  The final vote was 26-23. (NOTE:  Venango County State Senator Mary Jo White voted against this bill both in the Senate Judiciary Committee and on final passage.)

The State House approved their own version of a voter ID bill over the summer.  The Senate’s version of the Republican bill would need to be passed again by the House before it could go to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk for a signature.  He has previously expressed support of a voter ID bill, and the House will likely vote on the bill very soon.

Supporters of the bill feel it would help protect against voter fraud and preserve election integrity.  Those who have come out against the bill feel that it would discourage certain groups from voting, such as minorities, the disabled, and the elderly.  Additionally, they feel that there is no evidence of the “voter impersonation” that the bill is attempting to decrease.  Opponents of the voter ID bill include Democrats, AARP, NAACP, and civil liberties supporters.  The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania also opposes the bill, saying that it would create much longer lines on Election Day.

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