Voter ID Ruling Only Temporary Reprieve from Unfunded Mandate, Controller Wagner Says

Statement of Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner on Commonwealth Court Voter ID ruling:

“The decision to delay Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law is a victory for democracy and fair elections, albeit a temporary one. It is clear that this law could not have been implemented in the few short weeks before a high-turnout election without chaos at the polls and qualified voters being turned away.

“However, we must begin working now to ensure that every voter is prepared for future elections. In addition, the Commonwealth must provide funding to the counties, which are responsible for the nuts and bolts of our elections. Allegheny County alone has more than 1,300 polling places and more than 7,000 Election Day workers. The ID law should not be another unfunded mandate on our County, which has already incurred costs due to the uncertainty surrounding the law.

“Despite the ruling, there is little doubt that the ID law could still have a chilling effect on some voters. Disenfranchisement cannot be allowed to occur in Pennsylvania—the birthplace of our democracy. Every elected official regardless of party should now rededicate themselves to increasing voter participation, not limiting it.”