Voter ID

State Government Committee
Voting and Elections

I am opposed to requiring Pennsylvania residents to produce unexpired photo identification every time they vote.  It is an unnecessary burden, which will result in some Pennsylvania residents losing this most important right.  Voter participation is already dropping - there is a growing apathy and cynicism about government and elections. Government should not be putting up more barriers, it ought to be reducing them. Voter ID which passed the legislature without a single Democratic vote, will force many to stay away from the polls or not go back if they’re turned away for lack of ID.

The argument for requiring Photo ID at the polls is based on the assumption that voter fraud is rampant in our Commonwealth, but in fact, very few cases of voter impersonation fraud have ever been documented in Pennsylvania.   Every national study conducted has found that allegations of voter impersonation fraud are not supported by any hard evidence or data.  I did my own research.  When witnesses told tales about voters being “shipped” in by the “busload” to vote for President Obama in certain localities, I wrote the District Attorneys from those areas to find out whether anyone had complained to them about these serious infractions.  No prosecutor had. 

Requiring Photo ID at the polls unfairly disenfranchises hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians.  Voting is a RIGHT, not a privilege - the Pennsylvania Constitution states that “Elections shall be free and equal; and no power civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.”  African Americans, seniors, people with disabilities, women, the working poor and students are twice as likely to lack ID and it can be costly, difficult, and even impossible to get the underlying documents required to obtain a state ID, such as a birth certificate.  Requiring Photo ID is a modern-day poll tax, albeit a stealth one.

I am working to find plaintiffs for the case which will be brought to strike this entire bill. 

Updates and Initiatives

Press Release | 02/07/2012

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Babette Josephs, D-Phila., released the following statement on Gov. Tom Corbett's 2012-13 proposed state budget, which was unveiled today:

"Today's budget is another short-sighted effort by Republicans to line the pockets of big business and their other allies and campaign contributors at the expense of the middle class and our most vulnerable," Josephs said.