Pennsylvania eases voter ID process

Posted: September 26, 2012

In a last-minute effort, the state of Pennsylvania is again relaxing requirements for residents to obtain a photo identification card to vote in the forthcoming election.

Starting today, all voters should be able to apply for the so-called voting-only picture ID by making one trip to a PennDot licensing center.

The move was formally announced in a Commonwealth courtroom Tuesday morning where Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. is being asked to decide whether state officials have an adequate plan in place to insure all voters who need ID can access one.

PennDot Deputy Secretary Kurt Meyers said the new policy to obtain a voting-only ID was implemented to address concerns by the state Supreme Court in its review of the controversial new voter ID law.

In its opinion earlier this month, the court directed Simpson to block the law before the Nov. 6 election if he finds that the state has not done enough to ensure all voters can get the necessary photo ID to vote.

Simpson must decide by Tuesday of next week whether to impose an injunction. He said today that he would like to do so earlier, if possible.

Under the state's new plan, voters should be able to go to a PennDot center and apply for a voting-only ID without first having to apply for the state's more stringent non-drivers ID. Applicants also will no longer have to show proof of residence. They will still be required to give their Social Security number.

If the voter ID application cannot be processed immediately PennDot will still take a photo and, if there is no problem, mail a card to the applicant.


Contact Angela Couloumbis at 717-787-5934 or acouloumbis@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @AngelasInk.

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