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State College Borough Council Holds Public Hearing On Voter ID Law

by on August 21, 2012 6:00 AM

One by one, State College residents stood at the podium and expressed their personal disdain for the Pennsylvania Voter ID Law.

Following the public hearing at the State College Borough Council's regular meeting on Monday night, Council said it will discuss its resolution to oppose the law on Sept. 10. Council member Peter Morris, who minced no words in expressing his disdain for the law earlier this month, was not in attendance Monday night.

The new voter ID law is headed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after a judge upheld the law that many say is far too restrictive. If passed, its opponents feel it has the potential to keep many eligible voters from making it to the polls, ultimately disenfranchising them.

Should the law be upheld by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the law will require each voter, not just first-time voters, to present particular forms of identification, which must be government-issued and cannot be expired. That means students would not be permitted to present their Penn State ID, as it has no expiration date.

Residents from all walks of life came forward to support Council's resolution to oppose the voter ID law, including the board's University Park Undergraduate Association liaison – the student government has been vocal regarding its opposition of the law before – residents from Foxdale Village and representatives from the State College branch of the National Organization of women.

Centre County resident Christopher Lee used the opportunity to paint the law as a blatant abuse of incumbent power and announce his candidacy for Pennsylvania's 171st legislative district, currently held by representative Kerry Benninghoff, who Lee said voted for the law. 

The proposed resolution will be discussed at length by Council at its next regular meeting on Sept. 10.

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Laura Nichols is a StateCollege.com news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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