On Sunday August 12 at 6 p.m., area clergy leaders will band together to host a “Voter ID Rally” at Bright Hope Baptist Church, 12th Street & Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
According to Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law, Act 18 of 2012 (starting with the upcoming November 2012 General Election), state law now requires voters to show an acceptable photo ID to vote at the polls. All IDs must contain a name, a photo and an expiration date that is current, unless otherwise noted. And there are restrictions on what’s considered acceptable identification.
“A number of clergy from the Philadelphia community have decided to come together, because we are very upset with the efforts in Harrisburg to suppress the votes, particularly in the African American and Hispanic communities,” said the Rev. Dr. Kevin R. Johnson, senior pastor of Bright Hope Baptist Church. The rally is designed to educate the voters on what proper identification they will need to vote in the upcoming November election.
“This rally is so important that we’re asking for all people, here in this great city, to come to Bright Hope Baptist Church on Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. … this election is too crucial, our people have fought too much, bled too much, died too much, during the early part of the 20th century, we cannot allow their hard work and sacrifice to be in vain, simply because we’re not educated and registered to vote.”
The Rev. Dr. William Moore, senior pastor of Tenth Memorial Baptist Church said: “We want to push for a large [voter] turnout, not a low turnout. We want people to participate in this election in November, in this political process, as they’ve never done before. … We want this [year’s voter turnout] to make a statement in the political process.”
Including Johnson and Moore, the other key Voter ID clergy coordinators for Sunday’s Voter ID Rally include:
·The Rev. Charles Quann, Bethlehem Baptist Church
·The Rev. James Baker, President of AME Minister’s Alliance of Philadelphia, Harrisburg & Vicinity
·Bishop Audrey Brunson, Sanctuary of the Open Door
·The Rev. Wayne M. Weathers, Miller Memorial Baptist Church
·The Rev. J. Daniel Jones, President of Baptist Ministers Conference of Philadelphia and Vicinity
Some prominent Pennsylvanian Republicans disagree with the thought that the Voter ID Law is a form of voter suppression. They earnestly believe that it’s a way to protect and ensure the integrity of the voting process and individual voter rights.
Responding to the groundswell of foul-cries from Pennsylvanians, the media, and the legal communities regarding the new Voter ID law, Carol Aichele, secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, issued a recent statewide letter to Pennsylvanians to quell tensions and to educate voters on requirements to vote in the upcoming November election. Aichele wrote: “My goal, as secretary of the Commonwealth, is to make sure that every eligible voter has an opportunity to vote and that every vote counts. Pennsylvania’s new voter identification law requires voters to show a photo ID … This gives one person one vote.”
On Aug. 6, Gov. Tom Corbett told The Tribune at the Governor’s Mansion: “in this day and age, when everywhere we go, we’re asked for photo ID, why [is] everybody so upset about that? I think everybody wants to ensure, that: A, they have the right to vote, and this [voter ID law] isn’t stopping anyone from the right to vote; and B, that they vote one time, and where they’re supposed to vote. That’s all we’re asking for.”
According to Aichele, the following is a list of acceptable photo IDs issued by the U.S. Government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
·Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT photo ID card (valid for voting 12 months past expiration date)
·U.S. military ID (active duty and retired military IDs may designate an expiration date that is indefinite). Military dependents’ IDs must contain a current expiration date.
·Employee photo identification issued by federal, Pennsylvania, or a Pennsylvania County, or municipal government
·Photo identification issued by an accredited Pennsylvania public or private institution of higher learning
·Photo identification issued by a Pennsylvania care facility
In the case of a voter who has a RELIGIOUS OBJECTION to being photographed, acceptable IDs include the following:
·Valid without-photo Pennsylvania driver’s license
·PennDOT without-photo identification card
What if a voter does not have an acceptable form of ID?
·A person who is registered to vote, but does not have an acceptable form of ID, may obtain a FREE PHOTO ID for voting purposes at a PennDOT Driver’s License Center.
Pennsylvanians can view or download a free copy of voter identification requirements and related information by logging online to:
For more information about the voter ID rally, contact the Rev. Kevin Johnson at 215-232-6004 or the Rev. William Moore, 215-787-2780.