A promised gubernatorial veto of a voting bill has state Rep. Stephen Barrar eager to challenge the governor in a debate.
Barrar's bill, HB 1318, passed the state House and Senate but the governor said Monday that he would veto the measure when it reached his desk.
The bill calls for voters in Pennsylvania to show some sort of identification and would allow the state to accept absentee ballots from active military personnel for seven days after an election. Pennsylvania voters currently only need to show identification when voting at a polling place for the first time.
As reported in the Feb. 21 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rendell views the identification requirement as unnecessary and restrictive to minorities, the elderly and the poor.
Barrar said Monday that the governor sees it as unconstitutional.
There are already 24 states with laws requiring voters to show identification at the polls, and Barrar said none have been overturned in the courts. One such state, Delaware, had its law challenged but it was upheld, Barrar said.
Barrar, a Republican representing the 160th Legislative District that includes Chadds Ford and Birmingham townships, said the legislature would likely not be able to override the veto because original voting was done along party lines. Although the Republicans outnumber the Democrats in both houses, they would not be able to swing enough Democratic Party legislators to their side.
The five-term Republican said he would re-introduce the legislation next term if reelected this year. His Democratic challenger in November will be Shawn Diggory of Concord Township.
In addition to reintroducing the voting legislation, Barrar said he would address a nursing shortage in the state. He also sees property tax reform and bringing new businesses into the Pennsylvania as ongoing concerns.
Barrar's comments came during a fund-raiser at the Inn Keeper's Kitchen of the Dilworthtown Inn Monday night. According to campaign treasurer Beth Zenuk, 100 people paid $100 each to attend.