IDs required to attend Rep. Perry's town hall
U.S. Rep. Scott Perry will hold a town hall next week, but only those with government-issued identification proving they reside in the 10th Congressional District will be admitted.
In a Wednesday news release, Brandy Brown, a spokeswoman for the four-term Republican, laid out the guidelines for the town hall at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, at the Hummelstown Fire Department in Dauphin County.
"Congressman Perry represents the people of the 10th Congressional District," Brown said when asked about the practice of checking identifications of would-be attendees.
Similar vetting has been standard for Perry's office for the last few years, she said. Brown declined to comment further.
Perry, R-Carroll Township, has typically utilized telephone town halls, which don't require ID verification, to speak with constituents. In his more than seven years in office, he's held 20 in-person town hall meetings, according to the news release.
Perry's approach to ensuring only district residents attend public town halls isn't new.
Former U.S. Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, came under fire in 2017 for checking attendee IDs prior to public appearances. In interviews, he said he served only Iowa's 1st District. At the time, Blum said the move was to keep his events from being hijacked by activists from outside his district.
Perry is now facing criticism on social media and from his two potential Democratic opponents, state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and Hershey-based author and attorney Tom Brier.
"Town halls are supposed to be a welcoming environment for people to come and speak their mind, and to have it be a restricted environment goes against the very purpose of a town hall," Brier said.
In a statement, a spokesman for DePasquale characterized the ID verification as a way to intimidate constituents.
"Most of Scott Perry's constituents can't even recall the last time he hosted a public event to be held accountable and more transparent," the statement read. "Now he's trying to raise the barrier of entry even higher for constituents who want answers and wish to be heard."
Those who wish to attend must RSVP at https://perry.house.gov/town-hall/ and provide their ZIP code to prove they're in the district, although there was a waiting list as of Wednesday afternoon.
IDs will then be checked at the door, according to the event's details. The event will also be livestreamed through Perry's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/repscottperry/.
The 10th District includes northern York County, part of Cumberland County and all of Dauphin County.
— Logan Hullinger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.