As described by Kaplan, the changes are designed to expedite PennDot's handling of registered voters who were born in Pennsylvania but do not have copies of their birth certificates.
Since May, PennDot has been able to check with the state Health Department to verify Pennsylvania birth records for people needing voter ID.
But the process has required the voter to make two separate trips to PennDot license centers.
On the first visit, the voter would provide PennDot with a birth date and several other pieces of identification, including a Social Security card (a necessity for all applicants) and two proofs of residency, such as utility bills or lease agreements.
PennDot would then take about 10 days to check with the Health Department, confirm the voter's birth date and send a letter to the voter's home, with an invitation to return to PennDot to have a photo taken.
Since Aug. 27, that two-step has been particularly annoying, because on that date, PennDot introduced more simplified procedures for people born out of state, allowing them to get ID cards with a single trip to PennDot, providing only a date of birth (no birth certificate required), a Social Security number (no card required), and some tangible proof of where they lived. If that information matched the data on their voter registration forms, PennDot provided photo ID cards on the spot.
The Committee of 70, a leader of the PA Voter ID Coalition, has been complaining for weeks that those born out of state were getting better treatment than those born in Pennsylvania, and, apparently, state officials agreed, arranging a way for PennDot to certify birth records on the voter's first trip to the licensing center.
Kaplan said the changes would take effect by the end of next week.
Contact Bob Warner at 215-854-5885 or email@example.com.