Jones and Oh to 'Be the Vote'

Opinions on the state's controversial voter ID law and the legal challenges to it have broken pretty reliably along partisan lines, with Republicans saying the law would prevent voter fraud and Democrats saying it's meant to disenfranchise their supporters.

Council members Curtis Jones Jr. (a Democrat) and David Oh (a Republican) say they are going to bridge that divide with their "BetheVOTE" event tomorrow, an all-day extravaganza at the Shepard Recreation Center at 5700 Haverford Avenue.

The event, which will include entertainment, was described this afternoon as a "non-partisan Council leadership effort to get Philadelphians proper identification." Those attending will be able to check their voter registrations, ensure they have the proper ID and, if they don't, get help securing a valid ID.

Jones repeatedly stressed that voting is about citizenship, not partisanship. (Oh did not attend the news conference today because he is returning from Council business in Korea. He is scheduled to attend the BetheVOTE event tomorrow).

Nonetheless, Jones couldn't totally avoid the more political aspects of the voter ID law, which he called the latest in a long succession of "voter suppression" efforts in this country.

"There have been poll taxes, grandfather clauses, going way back," he said. "It didn't work then and we refuse to let it work today."