WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, Jan. 11, the Pennsylvania Senate passed Senate Bill 1, a package of proposed amendments to the state constitution. One of the amendments would require all Pennsylvania voters to prove their identity before voting. S.B. 1 passed the state Senate nearly on partisan lines, with only one Democrat voting in favor. If approved by the Pennsylvania House, the amendments will go to the voters for approval in the following state election (the governor cannot veto proposed amendments).
The amendment would require every voter in Pennsylvania to prove their identity before voting. In-person voters would be required to present a valid ID before receiving their ballot, while voters voting by mail would have to include proof of ID, such as a photocopy of their ID, with their ballot. Under the amendment, a valid ID is defined as an unexpired government ID, unless the Legislature chooses to pass a law allowing other forms of ID. Currently, voters in Pennsylvania do not need to present an ID to vote in person or include proof of ID with their mail-in ballots, although they do have to provide an ID number such as a Pennsylvania ID number or Social Security number when applying for a mail-in ballot.