Pennsylvania Democrats Push for Mail Voting

Monday, 13 Aug 2012 10:52 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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A push is underway by Democrats in Pennsylvania to bypass the state's new photo voter identification law by allowing residents to vote by mail.
State Rep. Nick Kotik says he knows his so-called "postal voting" bill has little chance of passing the Republican-controlled legislature, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In fact, it's still hung up in the GOP-controlled panel where it was sent after he introduced last year.
But in his new effort to force it to a vote, the Democrat insists the fight over the GOP-sponsored voter ID law, which is being challenged in court, could be resolved if legal voters were allowed to simply mail in their ballots.
A state court is expected to rule this week, possibly even today, on whether the controversial law that requires voters to show a state-approved photo ID every time they cast a ballot should stand.
"This is the right time to pass this bill," Kotik told the Post-Gazette. "Voting by mail could end all the massive confusion this law stands to cause."

Several states, including New Jersey, New York, Texas, Ohio, Florida, and California already allow voting by mail, and in Oregon and Washington all ballots are cast by mail and polling places are no longer used.
Critics of postal voting, however, say it opens the door to the possibility of more fraud. Supporters say it means that more people will able to participate in the elections process.
According to opponents of the GOP voter ID bill, as many as one million voters could end up not casting their ballots in November, most of them poor minorities, younger voters, and seniors, because they may have a hard time obtaining proper identification.
But officials in the administration of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, puts that number at about 89,000. 

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