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Politics & Government

Fight Over Voter ID Far From Done

State Senator Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) assures he is not against the Voter ID law, but does have some ideas for improvement. In a letter to Governor Tom Corbett, he suggests state offices serve as intermediaries to make the process of obtaining a valid voter ID easier.

Fontana said this would bring the services of a PennDOT center closer to voters. “We’re certainly capable of running people’s background, and taking pictures, and then sending it all over, and if they want to do their own due diligence as far as verifying that the information is correct, they can do that,” Fontana said.

Fontana points out that Allegheny County has only four PennDOT driver’s license centers and getting to them is not always easy for the elderly, the mentally and physically disabled, and those without transportation.

Fontana said all state offices would serve every voter, regardless of their political party. “This is bipartisan, this means that everybody, Democrats and Republicans would open up their offices to whoever walked in the door that wanted to secure a voter ID. I just think it’s the right thing to do for the residents to make it easier to obtain these voter IDs,” Fontana said.

He reached out to Governor Corbett in the past with requests to make improvements to the law, but said he is expecting a different response from his office this time. “I’m hoping that maybe someone from PennDOT will sit down and maybe even the secretary that would come forward and want to sit down and talk about how to do it. So, I expect them to say ‘yes’ to it,” Fontana said.

He did commend the Department of State for eliminating the requirement to provide a birth certificate and for disallowing online verification of birth records.