Forty 1199ers from Buffalo and Rochester traveled to Erie, PA on July 28 to help register new voters and inform voters in the change in the voter ID law. Starting with the November 6 election, voters will be required to show photo ID to vote in person, even they have voted in the same place for years. (The Pennsylvania law is being challenged by the U.S. Justice Department.)
The change in voter laws across the country are a part of a larger movement to suppress working class, poor and minority communities by implementing new rules when nothing was wrong with the old ones. It is estimated that over a million people could be turned away on election day either because they don’t have proper ID or because they have been knocked off the voter rolls.
The 1199ers from Western NY registered close to a 100 new voters, collectively knocked on hundreds of doors and passed out hundreds of piece of literature on the change in law and where people can go to get a free ID.
“I was so thankful that the union members from Buffalo came down here. I didn’t know about this, and now I have time to go get a ID” said Lydia McCrey, an Erie resident and registered voter.
“I really felt like I made a difference here today,” said Bobby Brandon, an 1199 retiree from Kaleida Health in Buffalo. “This is how union members and working people win, by helping each other and putting in a little extra work.”
1199 members from Buffalo and Rochester will be traveling to Erie, PA again on Saturday, August 18 to continue the work of making sure all eligible voters can vote on election day.
If you have family or friends in Pennsylvania that need more information or a free ID or are having problems, they can contact the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylavnia at 866.OUR.VOTE or www.aclupa.org/voterID. For ways you can get involved or to save your spot on the bus, please contact Maurice at 716.995.3702 or Larry at 585.500.5634.