Republicans not backing down on Voter ID

We spent much of yesterday afternoon talking with Republican candidates for the state Legislature.

We talked about the serious problems facing the state, including continuing budget constraints, a ticking time bomb in two broke public employee pension plans, the efforts to save refinery jobs in the region, the usual crunch in finding funding for education, and the possibility of blowing up the hated state Liquor Control Board.

So I could not resist asking them all one question.

Given all these serious issues, why would they spend even 15 minutes forcing people to show a photo ID in order to vote.

None of them backed away from the controversial law that has been put on hold by the state courts. They all stressed that it is common sense legislation meant to insure the validity of the vote, noting all the other 'privileges' that we enjoy that require use of a photo ID.

But they all also admitted the timing of the push was poorly handled, giving the impression that it was being rushed into place for this presidential election. And all lamented the comments of state Rep. Mike Turzai, R-28 of Allegheny County, who famously quipped that Voter ID would allow Mitt Romney to win Pennsylvania.

We’ll be talking about Voter ID Wednesday night on our ‘Live From the Newsroom’ live-stream Internet show.

I’ll be joined by one of the Legislature’s biggest boosters of Voter ID. That would be state Rep. Steve Barrar, R-160 of Concord Township. On the opposite side of this issue will be Rep. Margo Davidson, R-164, freshman legislator from Upper Darby. Both are running for re-election; Barrar is unopposed.

Join us Wednesday night at 7 on You can log on and take part in our live chat.

If you have a specific question you’d like to see the candidates answer, email it to me at