Tyrrell's Tidbits: Voter ID Law in Pa.

Heather Tyrrell is the editor of The Phoenix.

As long as you arenít living under a rock, youíve been hearing about all of the controversy with the Voter ID Law in our state. The law has presented many concerns especially for those who donít have a driverís license and donít have a birth certificate to get a valid photo ID.

Many people that are for this law say itís a way to maintain integrity in our state. I find that honorable, but there are still times that IDs are not asked for in our society i.e. using your debit card for something less than $20. And when have we heard about voter fraud in our state? I remember hearing about alleged fraud in 2006 that dealt with voter registration and a certain party signing people up for the party they didnít want to belong to.

Questions were raised about the law during State Rep. Warren Kampfís town hall I attended last week. Kampf mentioned that he didnít feel that people signing their names was enough to provide protection against voter fraud.

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The discussion made me start thinking of what would inspire people to commit voter fraud. Of course, to get their own way and to revolt against someone (voter or candidate) they didnít like is an answer. We do have some strange people and people that donít want to obey the law in our state, but are they daring enough to do this? And how much work would it take to commit voter fraud? Youíd have to get a list of voters, precincts and polling places. How would the imposter know the person they are voting in place of didnít come into the polling place already?

Itís hard enough to motivate people in the first place to vote, let alone, have a person that impersonates several people in different precincts. With my generation, my friends and I donít talk about voting, but I canít see them getting excited enough to vote during primary and general elections. Voter turnout is already low especially for primary elections. Turnout will be even lower with this law.

I feel bad for elderly people or people with disabilities who cannot easily go places to get a photo ID. One thing that Kampf said during the town hall that made me feel better about this point was that citizens living in assisted living communities could use their photo IDs they are already issued. College students without a driverís license can use a valid student ID.

It should be interesting to see what happens with absentee ballots. Iíve read opinions that absentee ballots can be a way around the law.

As a taxpayer, there are many other things I worry about more than voter fraud. As a homeowner, I would say my biggest concern is property taxes. It seems like everything goes up in price: gas, energy, etc. I donít want to have to worry about property taxes increasing as well. I feel like life is so expensive sometimes. I feel like the majority of money I spend on things I need like food and then my bank account is dwindling.

Many people are protesting and challenging the Voter ID Law. I believe this law will stick in Pennsylvania, and we as citizens need more information about it.

I preface these next few paragraphs with just because I am giving the organizations or people props for their efforts, I donít mean for this to be a pro-Democrat column. I just want to show you there is some help out there for obtaining an ID.

I believe The Montgomery Area 4 Democrats are already taking a step in the right direction on helping to educate people. The organization is hosting a voter ID clinic. A clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 18 at their headquarters at 486 E. Main St., at the corner of West 5th Street in Collegeville. Citizens interested in the clinic can call 610-400-1263 or email PAVoterID@gmail.com for more information.

Other voter ID clinics are being sponsored by the Nueva Vida Norristown New Life Mennonite Church in Norristown. The clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 11 and 25. The clinics will take place at the New Life Plaza, 25 E. Marshall St., in Norristown. Those interested in these clinics that want more information can call 610-945-6398.

According to a press release, volunteers will be on hand to explain the law in more detail and assist voters in filling out forms to get IDs from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Paul Drucker, who is running for State Representative of the 157th District, has a hotline people can call if they need help. The number is 484-629 -VOTE.

Whatís your opinion on the Voter ID Law? Email The Phoenix, editor@phoenixvillenews.com.