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Kampf Says Voter ID Law Could Increase Turnout

The state Rep. defended the controversial law at a town hall meeting in Phoenixville this week.

With a constitutional challenge to the law raging in Harrisburg, state Rep. Warren Kampf (R-157) suggested that HB 934—the controversial law that blocks citizens without state-issued ID from voting—won’t interfere with the ability of Pennsylvanians to cast their ballots this November and, contrary to conventional wisdom, might actually boost turnout in the state.

“Georgia has a very similar law. They’ve had it for six years. And they had it in 2008 and in those communities which often are said to have been impacted by voter ID laws, the turnout was actually far greater than it should have been demographically," Kampf said at the conclusion of at .

"There isn’t a demonstrated situation where these sorts of laws have disenfranchised people," he added. "And, honestly, I’m beginning to feel like this law may actually enfranchise people. [Though] I can’t guarantee that.” 

Kampf’s are minority views. The Pennsylvania Department of State says that nearly 759,000 registered voters in PA don’t possess a state-issued ID—though they admit that 167,000 of these voters haven’t actually cast a ballot in the past five years—while a University of Washington political science professor, according to CBS News, wrote a paper in July estimating that as many as 757,000 Pennsylvanians who voted in 2008 don’t have the necessary ID to do so this time around.

Kampf emphasized that the state has gone to lengths to ensure the law won't depress turnout. In addition to a robust campaign informing residents about the law, he said ID cards are free for those who can’t afford them and, in response to concerns raised about seniors who have lost their social security card or birth certificate being turned down by PennDOT, said those requirements have been waived effective in August. He added that those who show up at the polls on election day without an ID can cast a provisional ballot, then fax in the necessary forms.

"I want to assist anybody who needs help [getting ID] anywhere in this state," Kampf said.

Opponents of the law have countered that this won’t be enough, and the inconvenience of obtaining an ID will keep many home on election day. They argue that a majority of those without IDs are Democratic voters and that the law is simply a clever effort on the part of state Republicans to suppress voter turnout for political gain. Furthermore, they say, voter fraud in Pennsylvania is a non-problem; an argument that gained additional credibility when the state conceded it has no evidence that such a crime has ever been committed in PA.

While acknowledging that “there is a lot of politics surrounding this voter ID law, probably on both sides,” Kampf suggested that these objections miss the point. He argued that voting is sacrosanct and regardless of the frequency of fraud (he admitted the country doesn’t have a “wide history” of the crime) it makes sense to pass laws that protect against it.

“It never made sense to me when I walked into a polling place…and all I had to do was say my name and sign a signature that was right there in front of me and I could vote. That didn’t seem to me to be a very strong protection,” the representative said.

"I say, gosh, the legislature tried to do something that, absent a crisis, prevented us from getting into a crisis or tried to ensure the credibility of the vote. That can’t be all bad.”

N.C. August 01, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I also voted in the primary and specifically asked if my ID was acceptable for the upcoming general election. I didn't want to leave anything to chance, but I agree it is very curious that they chose to enact this ID law in a "swing state" right before a presidential election where the number of people who don't currently hold the required ID could determine the outcome of the entire national election. I hope don't end up with another Florida-type debacle on our hands like we had in 2000. I still have nightmares about "hanging chads"...j/k...lol
Citizen Dave August 01, 2012 at 03:51 PM
You folks are getting so bogged down in petty silliness...Mr. Kampf simply (and correctly) supports the right of every citizen...provided s/he is a citizen, to be included in the process. Last time I checked, there was only one way to show that you were a citizen (regardless of what you were trying to do), and that you were who you said you were, ID. What is so personally objectionable about that? You need ID to do just about everything else in the system...heck, you need one to catch a fish!!. My vote is about as important a thing as I can think of...I want it protected, and I want yours protected too. It is really not that hard...any one who is serious about voting should be willing to do get ID. Oh, and seniors always vote in record numbers, don't worry about them being underrepresented. I am glad Mr. Kampf takes our votes seriously enough to protect them
ltl.rascal August 01, 2012 at 04:06 PM
dick hurts (Richard Hurtz), really? you're too funny. i like a guy with a sense of humor.
David Curran August 01, 2012 at 04:09 PM
It would help BAp if you could provide an example--afterall preventing voter impersonation is what the bill was designed for. Without examples It is impossible to defend.
MA August 01, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Its a solution looking for a problem. As we move closer to the rest of the world, most of which has a national identity card of some sort. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_identity_card_policies_by_country
. August 01, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Citizen Dave - Perhaps you could provide us with some examples (or even just one) where people went to the polls to vote pretending to be someone else. Considering this is such a problem that a new law needed to be passed to address it, I'm sure there have been lots of arrests for of people illegally voting. BAppleman failed to give anything so maybe you can help him out.
Montco Pa Dem August 01, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I'll tell you what's objectionable for starters: the millions and millions of dollars this is costing the taxpayers of Pennsylvania, in a time when we're laying off teachers, firefighters and police, letting roads and bridges decay, and making kids go hungry. And our brave Republican legislators choose to spend their time and energy - and millions of tax dollars that could be actually doing good for the people of the state - on a non-existant problem???? That is an absolute disgrace, and every single state rep and senator who voted for this deserves to pay for it at the polls in November.
. August 01, 2012 at 04:28 PM
MA, I doubt anyone is really arguing that people shouldn't have photo ID cards. The issue HERE is that this was quickly put in place by Republicans in an attempt to surpress turnout and participation of minority voters which tend to vote Democratic. As birdfan suggested, if the idea was to help everyone get IDs, why didn't they put this in place during a Presidental election year? Why not give one years notice and begin it in 2013? The fact is Republicans know they can't win PA if turnout is the same as it has been the last several cycles so their solution is to suppress turnout by non allowing a block of voters that tend to lean Democratic from the polls. It's really that simple.
. August 01, 2012 at 04:30 PM
BAppleman, you show your true colors (and foolishness) more with each post....we are STILL waiting for some FACTS to back up your argument that their is a voter fraud problem in PA that will be addressed by the photo ID requirement.
Rebecca Lynn August 01, 2012 at 04:36 PM
It is a waste of money. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is a non-issue that the government is spending millions of dollars to 'solve'.
Richard A Breuer August 01, 2012 at 05:00 PM
If we are going to debate this issue, let’s consider the following: The question of ID at the poll only exists for someone who is already registered to vote. So, start at voter registration, not at the polls. We need a reasonable system that removes, for instance, dead people from the rolls. We have a centralized state voter database and a state department of vital statistics. Add a mechanism that follows up on registrants who have not voted in some sufficiently long time. Clean, up-to-date, voter lists simplify everything in the voting process. They also make it easier and cheaper for candidates, particularly local candidates, to campaign. A driver’s license, one of the authorized forms of ID, has nothing to do with citizenship. A resident alien can get a driver’s license, but, of course, cannot lawfully vote. College picture IDs, employee IDs, nursing home IDs are not evidence of citizenship either. Maybe a US passport works. The state Attorney General’s Office, which is defending the law, stipulated that they did not know of any investigations of or prosecutions for in-person fraud and that they would not defend the law on that basis. In much of the state, and especially in places like Phoenixville, the election precincts are fairly small. They are staffed by election boards drawn from the same precinct. If there are poll watchers, they are also from the local community. Who is going to try to impersonate a voter in front of the neighbors?
Solomon Kleit August 01, 2012 at 05:52 PM
I would support such a law if there was actually any substantial problems with voter fraud in PA-which there has not been. The same with the welfare laws designed to combat welfare fraud-PA has one of the lowest rates of welfare fraud in the country, so why waste the time and money fighting something that really does not matter because it holds no significance?
. August 01, 2012 at 06:34 PM
I was wondering when someone would bring up that "Black Panthers" nonsense. Here are a few FACTS about that case: 1) The "New Black Panthers" are not even a real organization. It is more a handful of radical nutjobs. 2) The couple of guys at the polls that day never actually attempted to stop anyone from voting or made any threats. They simply stood around making dumb statements like "the black man is taking over". 3) Most importantly the polling place where they were hanging out was in a majority black neighborhood. I think well over 70% of all registered voters in that district were black. If they really wanted to scare whites, why wouldn't they have gone to Radnor instead? Most importantly, what does that have to do with needing a photo ID at the polls to vote? BAppleman, you sound like Archie Bunker and only hurt your own cause with these continued moronic claims and comments.
. August 01, 2012 at 07:10 PM
BAppleman, your comedy stylings are pure gold.....Seriously, you should do a show. You may be even more funny than Archie Bunker. Also what in the heck is a "monikor"? Do you mean "moniker"? LOL! Thanks for the laughs today...helped a slow day go by a little faster. Come back tomorrow with some new material.
. August 01, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I just realized that "BAppleman" aka Archie Bunker is the guy who ran for (and lost) a seat on Phoenixville Borough Council. Wow! To think that this ignorant fool got within 50-60 votes of representing Phoenixville is scary. Yet another reason to get out and vote! Brady, some how I don't think these comments are going to help you during your next campaign....you need to learn some basic decorum as well as improve your spelling and grammar, if you hope to have any chance at elected office. PS- Running on a platform of making Phoenixville more like Norristown isn't really a good idea either. Thanks again for the laughs Archie, uh I mean Brady....
Frances Stein August 01, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Nice try, Warren. You want to enact a law like this, at least give it a prolonged 'buy in' period so that voters can prepare. Not everyone drives, not everyone is mobile, not everyone is able to rush out and get a photo ID. If you really are NOT trying to disenfranchise certain voters, then a law like this should have been designed to take effect over a period of at least 1 year---not a couple of months before a presidential election. Again, nice try but we ain't buying it.
Frances Stein August 01, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Oh, ok. You think that white voters are above the fray? And by the way, are you running for the presidency of the local KKK chapter?
Frances Stein August 01, 2012 at 09:14 PM
One final comment --- chads.
Ike August 01, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Hey , leave Archie Bunker out of this .He was truely last of the great thinkers,,a real AMERICAN!!!!! Why dont nobody ever get Mr.Jefferson crap??? CAN ANYONE TELL ME???? GOD BLES THEM BOTH!
Ike August 01, 2012 at 10:38 PM
This is one of the dumbest things.... YOU HAVE TO SHOW ID TO DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING.... SO IF SOME WANT TO MOAN ,, HERE WHAT TO DO GRANDFATHER IN ANY ONE OVER 60. MEANS THAT IF UR 59 AND UNDER YOU HAVE TO SHOW AN ID TO VOTE 60 AND OVER , YOU DONT.....EASY HAS 1,2,3 THIS WAY NONE OF THE WACKOS CAN MOAN ABOUT LOSING VOTERS.......... OH AND THEY ARE ALL CHEATERS
Jay Beckerman August 02, 2012 at 12:30 AM
No case has been made by Gov. Corbett, Rep. Kampf or any of the legislators who voted for this law as to why the effective date must be so soon. There is no history of voter fraud, so what's the hurry, other than catching voters by surprise? Why not delay for two years, to give the state and voters time to prepare? And why require use of photo cards with an expiration date as proof of eligibility? Social Security cards have no expiration dates, and they are a basis for getting voter photo ID cards. V.A. photo ID cards have no expiration date. Why doesn't Rep. Kampf feel they are trustworthy? Why does he distrust us Veterans? Neither state officials and workers nor poll workers are trained to accomplish a hassle-free transition. The law does not even require training for poll workers, nor does it appropriate money for training, or require a test and dry runs to prove the state and poll workers can handle problems this hurried procedure predictably will cause. Rep. Kampf :"forgot" to mention that many, if not most, college and other non-government institutions which issue photo IDs have cards with no expiration dates, so including a date requirement is causing a lot of cost to replace cards--another unfunded mandate from Republicans. How many, and which, Pennsylvania legislators are or have been members of of ALEC, the Koch-funded group which came up with the voter ID bill legislative language? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Legislative_Exchange_Council
Chris Dyer August 02, 2012 at 04:20 PM
"Hate the minorities" is a pretty strong statement. Do you have any facts to prove these allegations or are you just tossing talkign points that someone spoon fed you somewhere Dick?
. August 02, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Chris Dyer - In this case actions speak louder than words.
Chris Dyer August 02, 2012 at 07:43 PM
C'mon Richard...stop being such a coward & use your real name. If you had any conviction whatsoever you wouold post your comments using your real name so everyone knows who you are instead of hiding behind your computer screen.
. August 03, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Good job changing the point Chris. You right wingers seemed to have mastered this considering not one of you could give a single example of voter fraud in PA that would be stopped by this state photo ID law. I'll tell you what, bring some real FACTS and examples to the table and maybe I'll consider putting my real last name.
Chris Dyer August 03, 2012 at 11:03 AM
I wasnt trying to change the point of the conversation - I was merely pointing out to everyone that you make these outlandish comments yet are too much of a coward to use your name. It certainly is easy to hide behind a veil when throwing out blanket false statements because theres no way to hold you accountable. So why should we listen to anything that you have to say?
. August 03, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Let me translate Chris Dyer's last comment - "My right wing peers and I have no answer to any of the facts your presented so instead of having a real debate we willl just call you a coward and other names to change the subject". Chris - I could care less if you "listen to anything I have to say". Sorry the truth "hurtz"!
Chris Dyer August 03, 2012 at 11:37 AM
You havent presented any facts, merely repeated talking points that you were spoon fed. But hey, you're up before 11am, so congrats, its a start, maybe today you will become a contributing member of society....maybe, but I kinda have my doubts
Henk August 04, 2012 at 01:06 AM
You tried to describe why the bill is bad, but I did not understand your reasoning. First let me start with noticing that voter fraud does occur, and if you are not familiar with that, please check the internet. Next would be a question: How much voter fraud is acceptable to you? Do you consider the right to vote important enough that actually some effort may be necessary on your part to insure that every eligible vote should be counted and not be erased by voter fraud? Some of the other comments: (1) Absentee ballots: An absentee ballot is actually sent to the address of the registered voter and has the name of the voter on the return envelope. If the person also votes at the poll, the absentee vote will be discarded. Besides, who should the ID be shown to when you receive the absentee ballot in the mail, and you return the ballot by mail? (2) Your sister's maiden name: You will need to keep your records up-to-date, and that is a personal responsibility, nobody can help her with that. (3) Your Mom: You may want to check with your Department of Moter Vehicles and ask them if they have a non-driver ID, they do in Florida. (4) names do not match: It is everyone's responsibility to know their own name and be consistent how you want to be know on official documentation. You should not change or omit parts of your identity. Live is not easy, and then the government makes you get an ID. From a patriotic perspective, I am sorry, but it garantees our freedom.
Henk August 04, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Cynthia, please become familiar with the web site TrueTheVote.org and you will read that voter participation has actually increased in the case of Georgia.

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