Court Order Means Older Voters Won't Be Required to Secure Photo IDs for November Election
HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --AARP Pennsylvania today called Commonwealth Court's order of an injunction in the state Voter ID lawsuit "a victory for older voters statewide who were struggling to secure photo IDs in time for the November election."
"With today's injunction, registered voters who have voted for years will be able to cast their ballots this November without having to secure a photo ID," said AARP Pennsylvania State Director Ivonne Gutierrez Bucher. "By pushing the Voter ID requirements into the 2013 election cycle, the court is providing much-needed extra time to continue educating Pennsylvania voters about the law's requirements."
Gutierrez Bucher said that Pennsylvanians from across the state—particularly older adults, persons with disabilities, from diverse communities, or who are economically disadvantaged —were facing significant obstacles obtaining the necessary identification documents in time for the November 6 election.
"Without an injunction, we were looking at the very real possibility that these individuals would have been disenfranchised or that their votes would not be counted this November," she said.
Gutierrez Bucher said that as a non-partisan organization, AARP supports encouraging broad electoral participation among all voters -- including older voters -- while assuring the integrity of the voting process. AARP will continue to oppose the Voter ID law and believes its implementation represents a flawed solution for a problem that doesn't exist since there is no documented evidence statewide of voter fraud.
According to a national study, nearly one in five citizens over 65 lacks a current, government issued photo ID. Older adults often give up their driver's license or may never have had one. Seniors are also more likely to lack raised seal birth certificates necessary to acquire a new photo ID.
Earlier this summer, AARP joined with eight other senior advocacy organizations to file an amicus (friend of the court) brief in Commonwealth Court supporting the lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania's new Voter ID law. In addition to AARP, that coalition of senior organizations included: Senior LAW Center; Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging; Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly; Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans; the Pennsylvania Homecare Association; ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth; the Institute for Leadership, Education (I-LEAD), Advancement and Development, and Intercommunity Action, Inc.
"This issue has united Pennsylvania's statewide aging network, bringing together consumer, provider and advocacy organizations representing older adults, diverse communities, the economically disadvantaged, and persons with disabilities," Gutierrez Bucher said.
AARP has 1.8 million members in Pennsylvania. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for Americans 50+ and the world's largest-circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for the 50+ audience; AARP VIVA, a bilingual lifestyle multimedia platform addressing the interests and needs of Hispanic Americans; and national television and radio programming including My Generation and Inside E Street. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.
Contact: Steve Gardner, AARP PA
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SOURCE AARP Pennsylvania