Rep. Jake Banta: Shapiro’s and Democrats’ hypocrisy shines through on Real ID

In my first term as a state representative, constituents have often told me how sick and tired they are of politicians being hypocrites. Hypocrisy runs rampant in Harrisburg, and there is no greater example of that right now than Gov. Josh Shapiro’s and Democrats’ approach to identification laws across the Commonwealth. 

Pennsylvanians will soon need to be compliant with REAL ID, which will begin to be enforced on May 7, 2025. REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the federal government to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards. While not mandatory, those without REAL ID or another compliant form of identification, such as a U.S. passport, will be unable to board a domestic commercial flight or access to federal buildings requiring identification.

PENNDOT has reported over 2.3 million REAL ID products already being issued and Democrats have remained adamant in pushing for this federal mandate. 

While Democrats acknowledge the need for identification to protect our airways and federal resources, they fail to see their hypocrisy when it comes to protecting our Commonwealth’s elections. As we face difficult challenges with our election process, now is the time to enact a voter ID requirement in Pennsylvania to restore shaken faith in our elections. 

A voter ID requirement is a commonsense approach to ensure election integrity in the Commonwealth and a policy that Americans and Pennsylvanians can get behind. According to Pew Research Center (2024) more than four of five Americans (81 percent) support requiring voters to show photo identification to cast a vote. In a poll specific to Pennsylvania, Franklin and Marshall College showed 74 percent of Pennsylvanians support showing identification each time a person votes. Furthermore, 47 percent of Pennsylvania Democrats supported identification requirements. 

If we are going to require identification to protect our homeland, we ought to require identification to vote for those who serve our Commonwealth and country. The time is now for the state Legislature to commit to ensuring Pennsylvania’s elections are free, fair and secure. We need to ensure it is easy to vote but hard to cheat in PA. 

Efforts have been made in the state Legislature to make voter ID requirements a reality. House Bill 891 seeks to amend the state constitution to address voter ID, and that amendment process would ultimately go to the voters to have the final say. But rather than giving our constituents their say in the matter, sadly, House Democrats continue to stonewall this legislation.

Our voters and constituents should have the ultimate say in deciding if identification should be required. Earlier this spring, House Republicans launched a discharge petition in efforts to force action on House Bill 891. However, 25 members of each party must sign the discharge to force the House to vote, and exactly ONE democrat has signed on so far. 

As the world’s eyes turn towards Pennsylvania for another Election Day, Democrats could do the right thing and restore faith in our processes. The Legislature has until July 1 to pass House Bill 891 to ensure voters have the opportunity to have a say on voter identification rules. 

If we are so adamant on requiring REAL ID to board a plane, we must also take the same precautions to protect our elections. Enough is enough with the double standard portrayed by Democrats in Harrisburg. It is time to act on House Bill 891 and give every eligible Pennsylvanian the chance to decide voter identification laws once and for all. Our Constitution mandates the proof of citizens to participate in our elections; Democrats need to uphold their oaths to our Commonwealth by protecting our election system with voter identification.  

Hypocrisy in Harrisburg needs to come to an end, and it starts with House Democrats getting out of the way of the will of the people of Pennsylvania and moving our Commonwealth’s elections forward. 

Rep. Jake Banta represents the 4th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

11 thoughts on “Rep. Jake Banta: Shapiro’s and Democrats’ hypocrisy shines through on Real ID”

  1. Voter fraud is so rare its to the point of non-existent, the 2020 election proved that. Multiple states held recounts that were either automatically triggered by law or due to how close the vote was. U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, who was hand picked by Trump, stated that 2020 was the most secure election ever.

    1. If it is so rare, then the implementation of real ID would have no appreciable effect except to put an end to the allegation of voter fraud. I am a junior BTW, and six months after my father’s death in Philadelphia I went to the polls at primary time and was informed that I had already voted. I asked the poling person to turn the page and she was then able to discover my name, with the Junior noted. Hmmmm

      1. Nice story “junior” and if I believed that then there is a bridge in Brooklyn that I own. Voter fraud is so rare that there is no need for ID and this nothing more than a poll tax.

        1. It’s the truth – not made up. Real story. Glad to meet you anytime and discuss it in person.

    2. Rare? Nope. Widespread.
      Mail-in ballots make illegal vote buying easier since the buyer can ensure that the voter is voting the way he is being paid to vote, something that cannot happen in a polling place. This is illustrated by the 2019 conviction of a city council candidate in Hoboken, New Jersey. Frank Raia was convicted for “orchestrating a widespread scheme” that targeted and bribed low-income residents for their absentee ballots in a 2013 election. Sources told a local reporter that “the operation began in 2009, when changes in state law eased requirements for voting by mail. Prior to that a resident needed to provide a reason why they couldn’t make it to the poll in order to get an absentee ballot.”
      Fact: There is no way to stop electioneering in voters’ homes. This makes voters vulnerable to intimidation and unlawful “assistance,” as well as pressure by candidates, campaign staffers, political party activists, and political consultants.
      Fact: This type of electioneering is a particular problem in the 27 states that allow “vote harvesting” as well as in the District of Columbia. These jurisdictions expressly allow any third party to pick up a completed absentee ballot from the voter and deliver it to election officials. Twelve of these states “limit the number of ballots an agent or designee may return,” but there is no information on whether that limitation is enforced.
      Vote harvesting is such a common practice in some states that harvesters (or ballot brokers) are paid by campaigns to collect absentee ballots from voters and “even have their own region-specific names. In Florida, they are known as ‘boleteros.’ In Texas, they are called ‘politiqueras.’”

  2. RealID is a huge data mining and surveillance operation by the federal government, but conservative politicians have been strangely silent about it. The principled position would be to oppose RealID while demanding greater security around election efforts.

    Liberals who reject voter ID for being “racist” should also reject anything that requires identification: travel, buying alcohol or tobacco products, etc.

  3. Voter ID is just a way for Republicans to try and steal elections. They know that people who don’t have the kind of ID that the GOP wants to require are mostly the poor and minorities, and the majority of those people vote Democratic. The fewer people vote, the more Republicans win. So the GOP will do anything to limit the vote. They don’t want the poor and minorities to vote. It’s that simple. That’s why the GOP has introduced hundreds of measures throughout the country in the past 25 years to limit who can vote. They can’t win on the issues, so they try and limit who can vote. Don’t fall for it.

  4. The federal REAL ID was introduced and passed by the Republican George W Bush Administration and in 2005 when Republicans also controlled both houses of Congress. The Republican party is solely responsible for the REAL ID mandate.

  5. A police officer was devastatingly shot tonight. Let’s suspend our dependency on police and take up legal arms for ourselves. Allow a murderous rage to descend – yet we should remain diligent and remain always lawful. But let’s be armed. And let’s stop tolerating crime. Violence is never the answer. Vote. Arm yourself. Make lists of communist names. That’s legal.

    1. So you want a murderous rage, that is legal at the same time. How does that work? Do we go back to the days of lynching?

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