The legislation being debated by the state House would not permit disabled veterans to use photo ID cards issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that are not stamped with an expiration date.
…critics say the legislation is a slap in the face to Americans who served their country and are merely seeking to exercise their civic duty.
“For me, it’s the principle of the matter. … You know what they went through to get that ID? I don’t think most people do,” said Gary Schreckengost, a retired U.S. Army infantry major in the Army Reserve and veteran of wars in Bosnia and Iraq.
“For them to flippantly say, ‘Oh, they can go get a driver’s license’ — you don’t understand all the bureaucratic crap they’ve already gone through,” said Schreckengost, who lives in Elm and alerted local lawmakers to the issue.
Ron Ruman, a spokesman for the Department of State, the agency that oversees election in Pennsylvania, said the bill would indeed require voters to show an ID that has an expiration date. IDs without an expiration date would not be accepted.
“The Legislature can amend this when it wants to. In the meantime, those folks could apply for a nondriver’s license photo ID,” he said. “They’ve got to get to the driver’s license center, but that’s a one-time thing that’s good for four years.”
State Rep. Scott Boyd, a Republican from West Lampeter Township, said the form of ID in question is a VA medical benefits card, which includes a photograph but no expiration date because the benefits are for life.
He confirmed that the voter ID legislation under consideration now would not allow those cards to be used at polling places.
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