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New Provision Makes Getting an ID Easier…Or Does It?

Under a new Corbett administration provision, Pennsylvania-born voters may use PennDOT to verify their birth using state health records.

The Corbett administration promised Wednesday to ease the burden of obtaining a photo ID in order to vote. They claimed the new provision simplifies the method for Pennsylvania-born voters, who can request PennDOT verify their birth using state health records.

The law, which passed in March, requires all citizens present photo identification at the polls before being allowed to cast their ballots. If a voter is without ID, they may cast a provisional ballot that will be accepted if they present election officials with an acceptable ID within six days.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, approximately 12 percent of the country’s eligible voters may not have a government-issued photo ID; that percentage is even higher for students, seniors and minorities.

This new provision allows PennDOT to verify voters’ births without them having to show their original birth certificate or paying a $10 fee to receive a new copy.

And while the new requirement may appease disgruntled voters, especially minorities, the law still causes a high number of difficulties.

First, residents born outside of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will not be eligible for the PennDOT verification service. If voters meet that requirement, there is still another hurdle.

For PennDOT to verify a voter’s state birth records, the individual must first visit the driver’s license center with not only his or her Social Security card, but at least two proofs of residency.

If they don’t have access to their Social Security card, they have apply to the Social Security Administration to receive their state birth records.

But it’s not that simple.

To do so, they must have either a certified copy of their driver’s license (which would allow them to vote under the new law regardless), a state-issued ID (which you need your Social Security card to receive in the first place) or a passport (which is already accepted as proper form of voting ID).

Additionally, the new law requires a subsequent trip to the driver’s license center to pick up the non driver ID card, after the state confirms the voter’s birth. Physically impaired voters, or those without reliable transportation, may therefore still find that obtaining an ID is difficult.

Vic Walczak, legal director for the Pennsylvania ACLU, told the Philadelphia Inquirer this slight change will not affect the 10 individuals who are suing, citing the law as a violation of the state constitution.

Walczak also told the Inquirer that the provision “does not go nearly far enough in enabling all registered voters to get the necessary ID.”

Hearings against the law are set to begin July 25, with a decision expected by early August.

May 29th, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 9 Comments

9 thoughts on “New Provision Makes Getting an ID Easier…Or Does It?”

  1. behonest says:

    WAMs were eliminated. Again, I would ask, wouldnt the procedure of not purchasing new vehicles and letting assets expire in use be best approach? As far as the budget – I do not know whats going on with the inside budgeting processes, but I am happy to see a budget is being passed on time and even early in the case of this year’s budget.

    As far as enforcing procedure currently, that would be great. Unfortunately, I do not think that they have worked. This issue has gone on a long long time. I would have to finish this comment chain with – are you serious that you think its reasonable to ask people to supply an ID for the most basic efforts in society, but not to vote?

  2. LycoGirl says:

    Boom, Behonest? Hardly. Nothing there to say it’s okay to stand in front of honest people trying to vote. Perhaps fix your procedures before stopping people from enjoying democracy.

  3. Please be honest says:

    ◦Eliminating WAMS and legislative per diems
    ◦Reducing the size and cost of government
    ◦Implementing new budgeting practices
    ◦Reducing the state vehicle fleet by at least 10%
    Does this look familiar? I made a mistake, he promised to cut the fleet by 10%.
    These are the Pledge’s from the Corbett Campaign and Tom has done NONE of what he has promise!!!

  4. BeHonest says:

    Tim – How would he cut the cars? Perhaps by not purchasing more? That happens over time. Wouldn’t it be stupid to sell off assets that have more value being kept and reduce the pool by simply not purchasing more over the next 4 years?

    And, again, this is not a problem that doesn’t exist. This is a problem that is just not documented and frequently passed over because no one chooses to address it. Voter fraud is extremely difficult to track and pursue and it frequently would not change the outcome of an election. That does not mean it doesn’t happen but that no one can catch it.

  5. BeHonest says:

    Boom:

    http://articles.philly.com/2012-04-17/news/31355840_1_voting-machine-voting-divisions-poll-workers

    Ask anyone in Philadelphia who has a clue in elections. As one former Dem staffer told me “the most common voter fraud is ticking up the numbers before the polls even open”.

    Voter Fraud happens. Will this legislation stop it? No. Will it be another hindrance to idiots taking advantage of the process. Yes.

    I do not think there is anyway for anyone to completely stop and prevent voter fraud – all you can do is make it difficult.

  6. Tim says:

    How about Governor Corbett creating a problem and then announcing he is fixing it! How much is this going to cost the Tax Payer?
    Could this be a smokescreen to cover his inability to live up to his campaign pledges?? I am still waiting for his to cut the pool of state cars 15% as he promised!

  7. LycoGirl says:

    I’ll, bite, behonest. Be honest. Where can I read about Seventy’s investigation? I looked, but all I found was this: “Seventy opposes a Voter ID law for Pennsylvania.”

    Hmmm. Sounds like Seventy wasn’t swayed too much by their own investigation. Intellectual dishonesty indeed.

  8. behonest says:

    Warp speed? You know this was covered by the media as it went through the appropriate committees and hearings, correct? It has to sit for a time before even being signed? Please, stop the drama. This legislation was not pushed through quickly anywhere. The legislature debated and discussed while opposition screamed that it was racist and trying to oppress votes. As for the issue that does not exist, how about we look at the non partisan committee of seventy investiation into more votes being tallied than registered voters at precincts in Philadelphia. Your rhetoric is tired and intellectually dishonest.

  9. Matt says:

    Let’s pass a law to fix a non-existent problem and create all kinds of issue for people to be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Brillant!

    I don’t necessarily have a problem with showing id at the polls, but when it was pushed thorough the legislature at warp speed and its screwing with a person’s right to vote, its not right.

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