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Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Litigation Counsel Kathleen Jones Goldman offered a rebuttal op-ed in the January 17 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Goldman's opinion responded to a January 11 op-ed warning against Pennsylvania House Bill 934, a voter identification law currently on consideration in the Senate.

Goldman noted the statistics cited in the original opinion — which claimed 11 percent of voting-age citizens don't have identification — are not Pennsylvania-specific.

"The office of Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele reports that, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles records, the percentage of photo ID holders in Pennsylvania is actually 99 percent," she explained.

"As for the 1 percent of Pennsylvanians without ID, the bill under consideration would provide voters with a free photo ID."

Despite claims that voter identification laws keep eligible voters from the polls, Goldman noted that opponents of voter ID laws have put forward "no evidence of disenfranchisement" or identified "a single disenfranchised eligible voter" in the litigation opposing this type of legislation.

"[T]he very purpose of the voter ID law is to protect the validity of legitimate voters by eligible voters," and current safeguards — like the use of provisional ballots when first-time voters fail to produce identification — are not eliminated by H.B. 934.

Goldman has represented candidates and parties in several elections in Pennsylvania, and has "witnessed efforts to have people who are not registered or otherwise eligible to vote crowd into polling places on election night and demand that these ineligible voters be permitted to cast votes, thereby diluting the legitimate votes cast by registered electors."

"At least two criminal prosecutions have been brought [by the Allegheny County district attorney] for voter impersonation," Goldman noted, these criminal prosecutions and their resulting costs to the County could have been avoided with a voter ID law.

"Vote fraud is real, and every time it happens it cancels out the vote of an honest voter," she concluded. "Pennsylvania needs a voter identification law."