State Democratic leader says ID law could prevent him from voting
HARRISBURG — State Rep. Frank Dermody leads the House Democratic Caucus, having been re-elected every two years since he first won a House seat in 1990.
But he might not be able to vote in the Nov. 6 general election.
The Oakmont lawmaker on Wednesday said he received a letter from Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele suggesting he might not have adequate voter identification to cast a ballot under the state's new voter-identification law.
The department recently compared voter lists with databases from PennDOT, which issues the primary form of acceptable photo ID — a driver's license.
On his driver's license, the lawmaker is Frank J. Dermody. His given name, however, is Francis J. Dermody. He said he has been trying to shed “Francis” since he was 16.
The letter is indicative of the confusion that surrounds the state's voter ID law, which the Republican-led House and Senate approved, Dermody said. A challenge is pending in Commonwealth Court, and Judge Robert Simpson could issue a decision this month. Simpson will issue a ruling whether the law should be suspended for the Nov. 6 election.
“This certainly isn't ready to be implemented in November,” Dermody said.
About 760,000 people received letters like Dermody's.
“This is a joke,” Dermody said of the letter. “They should have saved the postage.”
Aichele's spokesman Nick Winkler said the letter shows the “opposite” of what Dermody is claiming. It shows the great lengths the department has taken to make sure as many people as possible vote.
The letter never was intended to form a list of Pennsylvanians who don't have voter ID. Instead, the letter is an “internal tool” to help the department determine who still might need photo ID.
Brad Bumsted is state Capitol reporter for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached at 717-787-1405 and email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.