New voter ID law passed with support from Everett
MUNCY – Pennsylvania voters will need to get ready for the new ID law (Act 18 of 2012) that was recently passed in the House and Senate. Those who vote in the upcoming primary on April 24 will need to be prepared, but Representative Garth Everett (Muncy) said that if someone hasn’t been able to get a photo ID by the end of April, they will still be able to vote, and have until November’s general election to do so.
A voter ID can be obtained at the PennDot’s driver license center located in the TJ Maxx Plaza on East Third Street in Williamsport. “They will have a week’s time to get it. In the meantime, a provisional ballot will be issued,” said Everett.
Charley Hall from Garth Everett’s office said, “Since the law was passed, a person can obtain a photo ID for free if they certify that it is for voting purposes. Otherwise, they will still pay the fee.” Everett’s office said he will assist anyone in anyway to help them get a free ID. “If anyone needs help getting to the PennDot office, I will drive them there myself,” he said from his Harrisburg office. The new law will really take effect for the November election.
Although some legislators were against the new law, Everett approved it noting that most of the voter ID fraud was occurring in the more populated urban areas. Anyone who is living here more than six months, will be required to get a Pennsylvania driver’s license or a photo ID according to Everett. “We are not trying to limit who can vote,” he said. “Other states have been doing this before us.”
Some training will also be necessary for those who are employed at the voting polls. These county election workers will need to know what forms of ID will be acceptable to vote. The voter’s name will need to correspond with how his or her name appears on the voter rolls.
Acceptable forms of ID to vote at the polls are:
Identification issued by the United States government such as a visa or passport
an ID issued by the state such as a driver’s license or an employee ID
An ID from an accredited public or private institution of higher learning
An ID from a licensed Pennsylvania nursing care facility, assisted living residence or a personal care home.
The state claims that the ID’s must include a name, photograph and an expiration date that has not expired in order to protect the integrity of the election process. Military personnel who have an indefinite expiration date and includes a designation saying the expiration date is indefinite, will be accepted.
For absentee voters, a copy of an acceptable form or photo ID must be provided with the application. If a photo ID is not acquired then the last four digits of the voter’s social security number must be included on the form. Once the absentee ballot application is verified by the county board of elections and all information compared, he or she can vote.
Voters must also complete a DL-54A form when visiting the driver’s license center to get the valid ID. This states that voters do not already possess any other of the acceptable forms of ID. If there is a problem with having a photo taken due to religious reasons or other, then the voter must present a copy of a valid “without photo” ID card that is issued by PennDot.
Keep in mind that voters will be asked to present their photo ID starting April 24, but will not be fully require until the November 2012 general election.
For more information about the new voter ID law, go to www.votespa.com.