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New Law Requires Photo ID To Vote

To vote in the November 2012 election, polling places will require photo identification.

In order to cast a vote in the November 2012 general election, all voters are required to show a photo ID at the polling place.

Acceptable photo IDs include identification issued by the federal government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a driver's license or non-driver's license photo ID), a valid U.S. passport that has not expired, a U.S. military ID, an employee photo ID issued by the federal, state, county or municipal government, photo IDs from an accredited public or private Pennsylvania college or university, or an ID card issued by a state care facility.

Most photo IDs must be current and have an expiration date, with the exception of a Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-driver’s license. Those forms of identification are valid for voting purposes 12 months past the expiration date, according to the new voter ID law.

If you do not have one of these forms of identification, you may be entitled to get one free of charge at a PennDot Driver License Center. The $13.50 fee to get a photo identification card will be waived for individuals completing the Oath/Affirmation Voter ID form. Find the center nearest you by searching by zipcode on PennDot's website or call the Department of State's Voter ID Hotline at 1-877-868-3772.

To obtain a photo ID from the state, you will need to visit the license center in person, fill out form DL-54A, and have a Social Security Card and one of the following forms of identification:

  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Valid U.S. Passport
  • Birth Certificate with a raised seal

You will also need two proofs of residency, such as a lease agreement, current utility bills, a mortgage document, W-2 form or tax records.

However, no one legally entitled to vote will be denied the right to vote. If you do not have a photo ID or cannot obtain one without payment, you can cast a provisional ballot, and will have six days to provide a photo ID or an affirmation to your county elections office to have the ballot count. If you have a religious objection to being photographed, you can still vote if you present a valid without-photo driver's license or a valid without-photo ID card issued by PennDot.

If you plan on voting by absentee ballot in the general election instead of at a polling place, you will need to provide a drivers license number, the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number, or a copy of an accepted photo ID when applying for an absentee ballot.

If you are voting for the first time in November, visit VotesPA for more tips and information on the voting process and what to expect when visiting the polls.

Dalia March 23, 2012 at 07:44 PM
What does being in a post 9/11 world have to do with having ID? I don't see much correlation between them.
Mike Shortall Sr March 27, 2012 at 07:37 PM
This is a long-overdue bill! One would think in this day and age when you can't use your credit card or buy cigarettes (if you look underage), everyone would have at least ONE form of photo ID. IDs without photos are worthless. You will hear opponents to this bill cry that there is no substantial record of voter fraud that would require such a bill. But just Google "Voter identity fraud" or voter fraud" and see the hits you get! I won't even get into organizations like ACORN and their record of election crimes. Years ago, when my mother - who never drove - needed a picture ID to fly for a trip, I took her to the PennDOT location. It took all of maybe 45 minutes on a weekday. There is no "hardship" here. And several other forms of picture ID will also be accepted. I would agree with the sentiment expressed earlier that more time should have been granted to comply with this. Heck, I'd be in favor even of grandfathering the requirement for people over a certain age ... Let's say 65. You can bet that all those complaining about the "hardship" the law presents would be first in line for IDs if a government-provided benefit - like ObamaCare - required it!
Jeff Lugar March 27, 2012 at 09:18 PM
While it's a shame that I do suspect the real reason this has finally been pushed forward is to make it tough for certain segments of the population to vote, as a common sense measure to stop fraud, it should have been done long ago. Even if there's no proven problem (and I haven't looked to see one way or the other), there's nothing wrong with being proactive and making sure a problem doesn't begin.
Franz Perls March 28, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I believe we should all watch the voting results to see if there is any impact. Right off, if Philadelphia ends up with a Republican majority voting, something happened. I would say something not good with this system. Like it or not, most Philadelphia voters are registered Democrats. This will tell the tale.
EARL NELSON May 12, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Rep or Dem it don't matter who runs the Philly Gov, their all crooks, Except Nutter, who truly cares about the city. But we all need to at least prove we are legally able to vote. And yes this is well over due.

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