With the inability to get a bill out of the State Government Committee as the minority party, House Republicans will play another card in hopes of advancing a voter ID constitutional amendment.

House GOP Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) held a press conference on Monday to announce that he will use a discharge resolution process to advance the measure.

“For nearly a year, this legislation has sat in committee. And that is despite poll after poll after poll telling us that requiring identification to vote at each and every election is supported on a broad, bipartisan basis,” Cutler said.

“Commonsense tells us that as more and more proposals are introduced to make our elections harder to administer and less secure, that simply requiring a state-provided identification at each election is the best way to enhance election integrity. Time is of the essence.”

Cutler noted that 22 House Democrats voted to support enhanced voter identification requirements in a prior House vote, meaning only three more Democrats need to sign on to the discharge petition to get the constitutional amendment out of committee. Twenty-five members of each party will required to sign a discharge petition.

“The 2024 general election is going to be one of the highest turnout elections in Pennsylvania history,” said Cutler. “Putting the voter identification constitutional amendment on the ballot for this November guarantees that the most voices have a say in this very important issue, more than likely any other time in the next few years. But to do that, we must get the Ecker-Kutz constitutional amendment through the General Assembly by early July.”

State statutes say that an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution must be advertised 90 days prior to the election.

The discharge resolution hopes to remove House Bill 891 from the State Government Committee where it has languished since April 2023, and bring it to the House floor. Sponsored by Reps. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland) and Thomas Kutz (R-Cumberland), HB 891 calls for qualified voters to provide a valid ID at each election.

House Democratic leadership controls the voting schedule and likely will not be inspired to bring up the proposal anytime soon – if ever.

Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford/Erie), the House Republican State Government Committee chair, discussed how requiring Pennsylvanians to provide identification each time they vote makes sense.

“You need photo identification to sign up for a library card or apply for a marriage license, but not to vote in Pennsylvania,” Roae said. “There are stronger rules in place for signing out a Curious George book for your kids than there is for voting. That seems really backwards. The vast majority of people agree about the need to show identification to vote. It’s time to put it in law.”

The legislative maneuvering came less than a week after Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton (D-Delaware/Philadelphia) outlined legislation that would change state voting rules to allow same-day voting and early voting, to boost participation and accessibility.

“Pennsylvanians overwhelming support enhanced voter identification. As a result, this legislation deserves a vote by the House,” said Ecker. “That is why I support expediting a voter identification bill so that we can have a conversation in the House about securing our elections in a bipartisan manner.”

“Voter ID is an easy way to encourage participation in elections while ensuring they are free, fair, safe and secure,” Kutz said. “It is important we institute initiatives that safeguard this system for current and future generations of Pennsylvania residents.”

The discharge petition resolution will be officially offered later Monday in the House chamber.

Steve Ulrich is the managing editor of PoliticsPA.

This article was originally published in PoliticsPA.

2 thoughts on “State House members will use discharge resolution process to advance Voter ID Amendment”

  1. Copy the Texas voter ID law that has been changed to follow the several court opinions. It is better than anything in PA now, and it has passed judicial muster. Here’s the link for those in Harrisburg who need to read up on it:

    By the way, when I worked in Mexico in a maquiladora my Mexican co-workers had voter ID in their country and it worked fine.

  2. This is a charade by Cutler. So long as PA allows mail in ballots, voter ID is useless. Only those voting in person will be vetted.
    Republicans, to their shame, installed Act 77, which legalized mail in voting. It needs to be repealed.

Leave a (Respectful) Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *