State to rollback requirements for voter ID

Posted: July 21, 2012

The Pennsylvania Department of State announced Friday that the state will offer a new photo identification card that will spare voters from having to obtain birth certificates and Social Security cards in order to vote next November.

The new voter ID cards, good for voting purposes only, will be offered at PennDot driver licensing centers beginning the last week in August, to registered voters who can provide a date of birth, a Social Security number and two proofs of residency, like utility bills.

Until the new cards are available, PennDot will continue to demand a Social Security card, a birth certificate, and two proofs of residency to receive its official nondriver ID.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele announced the eased document requirements just days ahead of a July 25 proceeding in Commonwealth Court court on whether the state's new voter ID law will disenfranchise voters throughout the state.

"We believe these new cards will be a safety net for those who may not currently possess all of the documents they need for a standard photo ID from PennDot," Aichele said in a press release. "Our goals are to continue making voters aware of the new voter ID law and helping those who may not have proper identification obtain it."

The move came following the release of state data earlier this month that counted 758,000 registered voters without PennDot ID, about 9.2 percent of the state's 8.2 million voters. That included about 136,000 active voters in Philadelphia.

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