State trying to expedite voter-ID process

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Two choices available at Driver Licensing Centers, which will be open Nov. 5

State officials said they are working to ensure that residents can obtain voter IDs.

The Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation and State  announced Tuesday that voters can choose to receive either secure PennDOT IDs, or Department of State voting-only ID cards, when visiting a PennDOT driver license center to obtain photo ID to vote under the state’s new voter ID law.

In other voter-related news, PennDOT said forty-eight Driver Licensing Centers, normally closed on Mondays, will be open on Monday, Nov. 5, the day before Election Day, to better serve customers with last-minute Voter ID needs.

In order to get the DOS voter ID card, an individual need only give his name, date of birth, Social Security number, and address; proof of residence is not required. PennDOT will then, while the individual is at the driver license center, confirm with the Department of State that the applicant is a registered voter. Upon confirmation, the applicant will get a DOS voter ID card.

If an applicant’s voter registration or information cannot be confirmed while he is at PennDOT, that applicant will not have to return to PennDOT to get the other ID card once the voter registration or information is confirmed. The Department of State will mail the voter ID card to the applicant, state officials said.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele said the two state agencies agreed to modify the process for all voters to be able to receive the DOS voter ID card following the state Supreme Court’s remanding the lawsuit challenging the law to Commonwealth Court.

The Supreme Court’s decision questioned whether the agencies’ attempt to qualify applicants for a secure PennDOT ID before offering the DOS voter card was consistent with the General Assembly’s intent to provide liberal access to an acceptable voter ID card.

“It’s important to note that anyone who qualifies for a secure PennDOT ID, which unlike the DOS voting-only ID card, is good for general identification purposes, may still get a PennDOT ID free of charge with the proper documentation,” said PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch.

Information on the voter ID law is available at www.votesPA.com, or by calling 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772). For more information on Driver License Centers, visit www.dmv.state.pa.us or call 1-800-932-4600.

 

 

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