New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
Whether a state can require voter photo identification was the topic that clinched scholarships for two high school seniors.
The Lawrence County Bar Association presented two $1,500 awards at its annual Law Day Thursday. The recipients were AnnaLisa Frengel of Neshannock and John Dean Maas III of New Castle. They were chosen from about 30 students vying for the scholarships.
Frengel, a daughter of Bill and Melissa Frengel, and Maas, a son of John D. Jr. and Brenda Maas, received the honors at an observance in the courthouse.
This is the 30th year the bar association has given the scholarships, which total $69,500, according to attorney Anthony S. Piatek, Law Day chairman.
The participants are required to write a 750- to 1,250-word essay on a given topic. The theme for Thursday’s Law Day, chosen by the American Bar Association, was “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters.”
Lawrence County President Judge Dominick Motto noted, “We are approaching the 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. These statutes constitute a significant part of the American legal and civic history and were enacted to protect a citizen’s right to vote.”
He commented that “when an eligible voter is denied the right to vote, the harm is not only to that individual but also to our form of government, because that circumstance makes our government that much less representative of the will of the people.”
Citing a history of laws enacted to open voting up to everyone, he noted the right to vote continues to be subject to procedures that can infringe upon it.
“As we speak, litigation is continuing as to voter ID laws, where the debate is whether or not the existence of requiring voter identification simply constitutes another barrier to the right to vote,” Motto said.
Other speakers were attorney Charles W. Garbett, president of the county bar association, who gave welcoming remarks, and Common Pleas Judge Thomas M. Piccione.