Reaction to Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Ruling

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PITTSTON -- For two years the Pennsylvania voter ID law has been tied up in the courts. On Friday, a ruling from a commonwealth court judge said the law is unconstitutional.

Those fighting the law said it would make it tougher for the elderly, poor and disadvantaged to vote. Newswatch 16 went to a senior center in Pittston, to talk with voters about the ruling.

There's no doubting the patriotism of most Pennsylvania senior citizens including those at the Pittston Senior Center.

A commonwealth court judge has sided with groups saying the state's voter ID law kept some seniors from their fundamental American right, voting.

Fedora Rigle of Exeter said, "It's a problem for older people because so many of us are in the same boat."

Rigle is glad the judge shot down the ID law.

She doesn't have a driver's license, and her passport expired.

When it looked like photo IDs would be required at the polls, she had to find a way to get one.

Rigle said, "And we don't drive, naturally and if we don't have family nearby you have to depend on friends, and it's difficult it really is."

Anna Mae Roccogrande used to work the polls. She thinks the IDs were unnecessary.

Anna Mae Roccogrande said, "We check signatures and you can't forge a signature. I think it's okay the way it is now."

The ACLU said this ruling is a victory for the elderly, for the poor, for those who may have trouble getting an ID, but not all those here agree.

Martina Willson of Pittston said, "I think people should be required to show some kind of identification when they're registering for anything. Even in the banks if you're going to cash a check, any place at all."

Some seniors said making sure the right person is voting is important and not too big of a hassle.

George Parrish of Kingston Township said, "Anybody can get an ID if they're honest and they're legal and they can get an ID. There's no such thing as not getting an ID."

But the judge said the voter ID law poses a threat to hundreds of thousands of voters.

Despite his ruling, some doubt this fight is over.

Willson said, "It's an ongoing issue for a long time, and I think it will be in debate for a long time too. "

The general counsel to Governor Corbett said attorneys are now reviewing the judge's ruling Friday morning to determine what the next step will be.

The law could be appealed to the state supreme court.


  • Bulldog

    You need an id to buy cigarettes, get a driver’s license, take out a loan, buy liquor, etc. etc. etc. but for the most important and INFLUENTIAL process in this country you don’t want to id your self? Why not? What are you hiding? Are you worried about your personal security? Well, you better log off your computer right now. What’s worse, showing an id or giving out your SSN or credit card info on the internet? The only reason for not showing an id to vote is voter fraud. It allows people to use the names of dead people to vote multiple times or illegal residents to have a say when they don’t even belong here. What other country allows foreigners to have a say in their governmental process whatever it may be?

    As for those who complain they can’t get out to get an id I have a couple of questions: How to you get to the polls to vote? How do you get groceries? How do you get to church? How do you buy your clothes? How do you buy your household needs? To get an id only takes one trip. You don’t have to get one every time you vote. So where’s the hardship? Perhaps one of the reasons is that you don’t want to wait in line to get one.

  • Axel rosenberg

    It is commonplace to produce identification for many reasons, such as purchasing tobacco if you appear under 40, cashing a check without having a bank account, stopped by authorities, renting a car, etc.- the list goes on and on.

    Most democrats are against the idea of producing a valid I.d. For voting purposes- they know where their support and votes will come from; ( those looking for free handouts )

  • Get real in PA

    I think voter ID is a step in the right direction toward reducing voter fraud. I have no issues with producing ID to vote. Here’s a thought let’s put photos on Social Security Cards and Access Cards. People are saying there is no way on earth they can go one time to the DMV and get a photo ID. If I called one of the people who has a problem with having an ID to vote and told them they won $1000 and needed ID to claim it I bet they wouldn’t have trouble producing ID and coming to get the money then!

  • b

    You actually think a politician would want all the corrupt voting to stop? You should have to provide ID to vote, and if you tried to vote without one, you should be put in jail or deported back to Mexico. Bad enough all the free medical and housing these lowlifes get.

  • RichinPA

    Fedora Rigle says it is an inconvienance for her because she doesn’t drive and doesn’t have family nearby. Well then how can she even get to the polls to vote with or without a Voter ID?

  • Anne

    This is a victory for democracy. People vote in their local communities and are registered by their neighbors. ID? My neighbor across the street whom I have known for 20 years had to ask me for my driver’s licence at the polling station for the past two years. LOL!!! Did I suddenly become an illegal alien?

    Luckily, I do have a driver’s licence, but many of the poor and the elderly do not. Whatever photo ID do these “government types” want, and where would procure it?

    Nonsense….driven by desperate and partisan politicians.

    • Dennis

      Anne, in 2010 there were 410 people registered as Democrats in the state of North Carolina, OVER THE AGE OF 110. There are not even 100 centennarians alive in the state! In Ohio, a polling booth volunteer was convicted for voting 7 times. There are numerous other examples of voter fraud and this victory that you claim for democracy is anything but. It is a defeat for real democracy as it opens up huge opportunities for unscrupulous behavior.

      To be sure, we need to find a way to supply transportation to those who cannot make it to a registration center. We could also have mobile voter ID drives where certified officials go to the elderly or immobile. Whatever the vehicle for registering the disadvantaged, we can find a way in this age of technology to certify voter legitimacy.

      To your point about your precinct workers knowing everyone, that is fine for small town PA. Those locales are not where the problem exists–it is in those precincts where there are thousands of people vote making it virtually impossible to verify.

      This decision stinks and represents one more way in which our democracy is at risk. What a shame for everyone, you included.

Comments are closed.