KINGSTON ‚?? State Sen. Lisa Baker asked for a show of hands.
‚??Who doesn‚??t have a photo ID?‚?Ě she asked 60 senior citizens at the Kingston Senior Center Thursday.
No hands went up.
Concern has been raised about Pennsylvania‚??s Voter ID law that requires all voters to present a photo identification card at the polls in November. Republicans say the requirement will eliminate voter fraud, while Democrats say it will reduce the number of people voting.
But if the Kingston Senior Center is any indicator, most people have photo IDs and those without might be able to get one for free.
State Sen. John Blake. D-Archbald, said Wednesday that a recent report by the Pennsylvania Department of State estimated that 758,000 registered voters do not have photo identification cards from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. A significant number of these voters are senior citizens who do not drive, he said.
Blake said ‚??it‚??s time for the commonwealth to aggressively follow through‚?Ě on its plan to provide a free and valid ID to anyone lacking the proper identification to vote.
Rob Henderson, operations director at the Luzerne County Transportation Authority in Kingston, said 18 bus runs are offered Monday through Friday that stop at the PennDOT driver‚??s license center on the campus of Luzerne County Community College on Prospect Street in Nanticoke.
Henderson said Bus No. 13 also makes nine runs on Saturday.
‚??Bus No. 13 goes there and drops off passengers at the driveway,‚?Ě Henderson said. ‚??People from throughout Luzerne County can take their local buses to the Intermodal Center in Wilkes-Barre and pick up Bus No. 13 there.‚?Ě
Baker, R-Lehman Township, said the purpose of the photo ID requirement was to ‚??preserve the integrity‚?Ě of the voting process.
‚??Some folks don‚??t have a photo ID,‚?Ě Baker said. ‚??And if you do have one, it must have a non-expired date on it.‚?Ě
Baker said the Pennsylvania Department of State also can issue a non-driver photo ID.
Baker also talked about the state budget, calling the $27.65 billion plan ‚??fiscally responsible.‚?Ě She said 40.4 percent of it goes to education and 38.8 percent goes to the Department of Public Welfare.
‚??That leaves 21 percent for everything else,‚?Ě Baker said.
‚?Ę Department of State voter ID card
‚?Ę State driver‚??s license or non-driver‚??s license photo ID (cannot exceed 12 months past the expiration)
‚?Ę Valid U.S. passport
‚?Ę Active duty and retired U.S. military ID with an expiration date
‚?Ę Employee photo ID issued by federal government
‚?Ę College IDs with expiration date
‚?Ę Photo ID issued by a Pa. care facility
Information on how to get valid ID: (800) 932-4600