This post is paid advertising by Chris Gebhard for Senate.
Just as it was a year ago, questions regarding electoral reform and election security continue to be the top issue people want to discuss whether I’m out at the grocery store, holding a constituent meeting or knocking on their door. The passage and implementation of ACT 77 has raised serious concerns regarding our election system in the Commonwealth.
As I said last May, we need a massive dose of common sense when it comes to how we vote in Pennsylvania. That’s why I am supportive of eliminating ACT 77 and in favor of Voter ID laws.
One of the very first bills I co-sponsored last year was Senator Judy Ward’s SB755 calling for a constitutional amendment to implement Voter ID. This is just simple common sense. Recent polling indicates an overwhelming desire for this kind of legislation as well. For instance, a June 2021 Franklin and Marshall poll found 59% of Pennsylvania voters supported election reform – including 74% of voters favoring Voter ID and 81% supporting signature verification. (PDF link)
You can’t buy cold medicine, video games or even get into a concert without a valid ID. Certainly, every reasonable person can agree, you should be required to show ID to vote. We are at a point where we can easily deliver a legal ID to anyone who requires one. The excuses against Voter ID do not add up, we must insist that our elected officials enact Voter ID to safeguard the integrity of our elections.
Furthermore, once Voter ID is instituted, in-person voters and mail-in voters need to be treated alike; legal ID verification is a must. Everyone needs be treated equally under the eyes of the law, there cannot be less stringent rules for mail-in voters than for those who vote on election day. Those that use the mail in ballot system will need to provide a photocopy of their identification and signature to prove their identity, just as you would if you went to the polls. Only a simple, open and transparent process will promote the trust in our elections that we so desperately need.
I was extremely disappointed to see Gov. Wolf filed a lawsuit earlier this year to stop the constitutional amendment on Voter ID from making its way onto the ballot. Unsurprisingly, Gov. Wolf has chosen to try and silence the voice of millions of Pennsylvanians and govern again by using the activist courts. I still have yet to hear a reasonable explanation why he is blocking this referendum and not letting the people of Pennsylvania weigh in on this important matter. We can only be left to wonder.
The validity of our elections here in Pennsylvania never need to be questioned again. This single measure of requiring an ID to vote would go a long way in restoring faith in our election system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Senator Chris Gebhard (Republican) is running for a full term for state Senate District 48 on November 8. Senate District 48 is comprised of all of Lebanon County and parts of Berks and Lancaster counties.