New Pa. voter ID card available Tuesday

August 27, 2012 5:54:37 PM PDT
Starting Tuesday, there will be a new photo identification card available to registered voters. It is supposed to help people get an ID in time to vote in November.

Voters who do not have the proper documentation - a birth certificate, a social security card, a Pennsylvania photo ID - can now get a free Department of State Voter ID at PennDOT Driver's License Centers.

This starts statewide on Tuesday.

The law enacted this year requires registered voters to produce valid photo ID for the November 6th general election. By some estimates, up to 800,000 Pennsylvania voters might be eligible to vote but lack proper photo ID.

Starting Tuesday, voters can get this voting-only ID valid for ten years.

We went to a watchdog group to get an explanation. They said for voters born in-state, PennDOT has to first certify that the voter was born in Pennsylvania and that will require a couple of visits to the PennDOT location.

Voters born out-of-state need to bring:

*Name and address
*Social security number
*Proof of residency using two forms of ID, such as two utility bills
*Previous name and/or address if changed in the past 12 months

The Committee of Seventy says it is trying to educate voters about how this works and encouraging them to stick with the process.

"We're encouraging people to stick with it because voting is one of the most important things you can do as a citizen," said the Committee of Seventy's Ellen Kaplan. "So we're trying to give voters as much education as we possibly can. We're trying to demystify the process."

There were some expectations that after the Voter ID Law passed in March there would be a big influx of people trying to get proper voter identification. It surprised some people that that has not happened state-wide.

But the watchdog groups believe that will happen after the conventions and after Labor Day as people start to gear up for the November 6th general election.

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