IDville Blog | Pittsburgh students question state voter ID law

Pittsburgh students question state voter ID law

by Admin 4. September 2012 11:06

A Western Pennsylvania college student who plans to volunteer at a voting site for the general election in November feels for the plight of the poor and the elderly, according to a published report.

Junior political science major Alyssa Knierim with Point Park University in Pittsburgh is scheduled to volunteer at polls in Millvale and she said the elderly and the poor will face challenges voting because of the difficulties getting to the Motor Vehicles Department to acquire the mandated identification, The Point Park Globe reports.

But the need to stave off voter fraud is ever present and important, another student told the news source, noting officials should put more effort into easing the process of acquiring IDs for those societal demographics.

"They should make it easier to get one, and make people more aware of it, and maybe when someone comes without an ID, they can give them the information they need to get one," freshman cinema production major Hannah Meholick told the news source late last week.

Next week will see the Pennsylvania Supreme Court hear an appeal to a judge's rejection of arguments against the voter ID law, more officially known as Act 18. Those who will argue the case include a coalition led by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.

The ACLU takes exception to the Commonwealth Court stating last month that Act 18 ultimately will cause "inevitable" harm as compared to "immediate" harm.

"I think it's an infringement on our basic rights as American citizens. If we are a government for and of, and by the people, the people should be able to participate," Knierim told the news source late last week. "It shouldn't be that hard to vote and for some people it is, especially elderly people."

Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett signed Act 18 into law this past March; the lawsuit filed by the ACLU came about 60 days later.

The ACLU stands opposed to the law because it believes it controverts the U.S. constitution.

"We believe this is unconstitutional. We should not be putting up a barrier to voting and under this law are people who are not going to be able to get the ID necessary or people who won’t know that they need the ID until they show up at the polls and don’t have the right ID," associate director Sara Mullen with the ACLU said.

Established as a business training college in 1933, Point Park University has been a four-year school since 1966, according to the school's website.

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