State Rep. Babette Josephs, D-Phila., said that a response to her letter asking for proof of voter fraud proves that H.B. 934, a bill that would require unexpired, valid photo identification of every voter at every election, is a waste of money and profoundly undemocratic. She said the alleged massive fraud simply does not exist and never did.
At a March House State Government Committee public hearing, the co-chairwoman of the Republican Lawyers Association claimed students were bused in from New York to vote illegally on the University of Pittsburgh campus for the 2004 general election. Josephs asked for evidence, but when she had not received any some two months later, she wrote to Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. and Pennsylvania’s attorney general.
Josephs received a response from Zappala last week in which he said that he was unable to confirm the allegations. Furthermore, Zappala involved the county solicitor, police superintendent and elections manager, and no one could verify the statement.
“It is very telling that law enforcement and election officials in the very county this alleged voter fraud was supposed to have happened cannot substantiate the claim,” Josephs said. “I continue to stand by my statement that House Bill 934 is a solution in search of a problem. This just proves that it is even more important than ever to safeguard our fundamental right to vote, and fight efforts to suppress it.”
Zappala’s response included a letter from the Election Divisions Manager Mark Wolosik who said that it was not uncommon in high-profile elections such as that one to have unfounded allegations of fraud to be made but he was not aware of the allegation.
“My letter also asked for any other records the county may have of voter fraud that could have been prevented by requiring photo identification at all elections as this bill would do. It is telling that Zappala’s letter was silent on that aspect, as well,” she said.
Background on the Story:
Rep. Josephs has been a longtime opponent of the proposed bill (H.B. 934). She has previously claimed that the policy would discriminate against many marginalized groups in society. She alleged that many senior citizens, who statistically have voted in opposition to Republican policies, do not have valid identification cards. She has also cited the plight of domestic violence victims, who may have lost their means of identification in emergency escapes from grisly home lives. According to Josephs and other opponents of the bill, the costly process of providing millions of Pennsylvania residents with current identification would be too expensive for the budget to shoulder. She has claimed that political motivations underly the attempts at passing this bill, which would allegedly hurt the voting power of many state residents. Organizations that have also expressed opposition to the bill include the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, and the ACLU.