I can no longer sit back and ignore the nonsensical criticism of Carbon County Commissioner Bill O'Gurek and Roy Christman on the Voter ID Law. As you probably know, this law requires all Pennsylvania voters to show a valid photo ID at the polling place in order to cast their vote on Election Day.
As a member of the PA House State Government Committee, I sat through hours of committee hearings and listened to additional debate and comments on the House Floor. I know this law is warranted and necessary.
Anyone who thinks that voter fraud does not occur in Pennsylvania is either not being truthful or fooling themselves. This point was clearly and definitely made by many of the organizations and individuals who came forward during the legislative process. Philadelphia State Rep. John Taylor readily admitted that voter fraud occurs in his city on Election Day - and none of his Philadelphia colleagues stood up to directly dispute his accusations.
The intent of this law is to ensure that only legal, registered voters are voting and that they vote only once. Nobody wants to disenfranchise anyone from voting who has the legal right to do so and that's why my office and I are helping anyone who needs assistance get the proper ID well before the November election.
A large majority of residents agree that if you must show identification to enter a workplace, rent a book at a public library, make a transaction at a bank, purchase over-the-counter medications, and to board an airplane, requiring identification to verify you are who you say you are to vote is common sense.
Elected officials at every level of government should join together and help our constituents and friends prepare for the upcoming election. Let's knock off the campaign rhetoric and partisan politics and move forward in making sure the process works as it is intended – in a fair and impartial manner.
Be assured that I will work with Rep. Doyle Heffley and all my colleagues in holding personnel at the PennDOT License Centers accountable in doing their job and being more helpful with this process. Additionally, my office is available to assist with this issue. I invite people from the 124th District to contact me personally if they have a need for transportation to the Photo ID Center.
Feel free to contact my office if you have questions on any state-related matter.
Rep. Jerry Knowles