Mar. 28, 2024

Taking Action on Voter ID

If citizens are to have confidence in their government, they must first have confidence in the electoral process that selected its public officials.

All Americans should have confidence that elections are carried out securely and if confidence is low, it is incumbent upon leaders to act.

The good news is that a simple, bipartisan-supported proposal can go a long way in restoring trust in our election system. I joined several House colleagues in supporting a discharge resolution that would allow the House of Representatives to consider adding a voter identification requirement to the Pennsylvania Constitution.

House Democrat leaders, who set the House agenda, have refused to allow such legislation to be considered. The proposal, House Bill 891, is being held in the House State Government Committee and is not scheduled for a vote anytime soon. 

Generally speaking, when a bill is introduced, it is referred to a legislative committee for first consideration, before being considered by the full House. But when that majority chairman of that committee refuses to schedule a vote on a particular bill, a discharge resolution, if signed by at least 25 members from each party, would release the bill without passage in committee and position it for consideration by the full House. 

With the correct number of 50 signatures, the discharge resolution would release House Bill 891 for a full House vote. When voter ID was last considered by the House, it was supported by 22 Democrats.

A 2024 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that four in five Americans support voter identification. More specific to Pennsylvania, in 2021 Franklin & Marshall College found 74% of Pennsylvanians support requiring identification each time a person votes. It further separated responses by party registration and determined that measure was supported by 95% of Republicans, 47% of Democrats and 77% of independent voters.

For me, it’s also a commonsense approach.

Think of the times that we are asked to provide identification. Borrowing a library book. Purchasing alcohol. Boarding a plane. These are just a few.

Different than the passage of a bill to amend or create a new law, constitutional amendments are a way to engage voters in decisions by offering a ballot question. 

A constitutional amendment proposal must first be passed by both the House and Senate, during two consecutive two-year legislative terms. Then, the proposal appears as a question on ballots in the next statewide election for voters to decide its fate. It is not considered by the governor.

A voter ID constitutional amendment did pass during the 2021-22 legislative session, highlighting the urgency this year. Accordingly, I co-sponsored House Bill 891, which contains identical language. If it is not passed before the end of the current 2023-24 session, the process would have to start again at the beginning.

As of March 27, two days after the discharge resolution was proposed, it has been signed by more than 50 House members. 
Here are some additional news topics and reminders I would like to share.

Speaking of Elections - The 2024 Primary Election is coming up on Tuesday, April 23.

If you are not already registered to vote, the deadline to do so is Monday, April 8. To register to vote you must be a United States citizen, a Pennsylvania resident for at least 30 days before the next election and age 18 before the next election. You may register in person at your county elections office, by mail or by visiting the state’s online voter registration website. 

The last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot is Tuesday, April 16, by 5 p.m. Completed ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23. For more information about voting in the Commonwealth, including how to check your registration and voting location, visit

Learn More About Real ID on April 4 - If you have questions about Real ID, join me for this special event Thursday, April 4, from 5-7 p.m. at the Lamplighter Restaurant in Delmont. Registration is encouraged but not required. Call my office at 724-387-9113 to register or if you have any questions.

Good Luck Anglers! -  Next Saturday, April 6, is the first day of trout season. If you haven’t already, be sure to buy your fishing licenses and permits and get your gear organized. Visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) online at or the FishBoatPA mobile app for more information.

Representative Jill Cooper
55th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jordan Frei
724-875-8450 /