Letter to the Editor: Shapiro Says County Voter ID Initiative Unanimous, Bipartisan
Shapiro: 'Troubled' by Corbett Administration's 'inappropriate' comment
To the editor:
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania passed a new law requiring voters to show an ID in order to vote. While at first blush, this may sound sensible to some, it will likely have the effect of suppressing the rights of certain voters who do not meet the new strict standards. In Montgomery County alone, according to a report from the commonwealth, over 49,000 people either do not have the necessary identification to be able to vote or there is some question about their ID card.
While my opposition to this new law is well-documented (I voted against it when I served in the State House), as the Chairman of the Montgomery County Commissioners I took an oath to uphold all of the laws of the commonwealth —even those I disagree with.
Last week, the commissioners voted unanimously to ensure that every voter in Montgomery County who needs an ID won’t have to navigate the confusing state bureaucracy to get one but instead will be able to get an ID through the County.
It is important to note that while the underlying issue requiring an ID has become plagued in partisanship, our action in Montgomery County was unanimous and bipartisan. That is why I was troubled by the comments from the Corbett Administration acknowledging that what we are doing is legal but “inappropriate.” In my mind, there is nothing inappropriate about doing everything in one’s power to ensure the rights of people to vote.
In the coming days, our administration will be announcing further details on how people can get an ID and our plan is to roll-out this new process by Oct. 1. I assure you, we are working diligently to ensure that the process is as easy as possible for registered voters while making certain that we uphold the law.
I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of positive emails, calls and editorials since we announced this effort last week. I am also encouraged by the fact that other counties seem poised to follow our lead.
As always, I welcome your feedback on this or any other issue on your mind.
Chairman, Montgomery County Commissioners