Senator Judy Ward: Voter Verification Constitutional Amendment Passes PA Senate Committee

(HARRISBURG) – A plan supported by state Senator Judy Ward (R-30) that will allow voters to decide if the Pennsylvania Constitution should be amended to require identification each time a voter casts a ballot was approved today by the Senate State Government Committee.

“Election integrity has been eroded and it needs to be restored,” Senator Ward said. “Time and again, I hear from constituents who want to know why they need identification to buy cold medicine, but not to choose their next senator, township supervisor, judge, or president. Proposing that voters show verification not just the first time, but every time they vote, as a constitutional amendment allows Pennsylvanians to take the lead in how they want to further secure our election process.”

Currently, voters are required to show identification the first time they vote at a polling place. Senate Bill 735 asks voters to decide if government-issued identification should be required every time a ballot is cast. The language must be passed in two consecutive legislative sessions, meaning the earliest the proposed amendment would reach voters for consideration is May 2023.

Unlike a piece of legislation, Constitutional Amendments do not need the governor’s approval. Rather, the proposed amendment would go straight to the voters for their input. The bill will now be considered by the full Senate.

“Allowing the voters to decide how they want to best secure their elections is not some nefarious plot as some would have you believe,” Senator Ward said. “Just as asking people to offer verification each time they vote is not an attempt to keep people away from the polls. I urge everyone to rise above that and not fall victim to outside influences trying to stir emotion. These are commonsense measures designed to restore confidence in our election system – a confidence that has been seriously eroded during the last several election cycles.”

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CONTACT:   Cheryl Schriner (Ward)