Montco plan streamlines voter ID process

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - October 1, 2012

As it stands right now, you will need an acceptable form of identification to cast your ballot. And there is a plan in Montgomery County to make that as easy as possible.

"Today begins the process to insure that Montgomery County voters have identification and are able to vote," said Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro.

Frustrated by Harrisburg's clumsy efforts, Montgomery County's commissioners rolled out their own plan to issue voter ID's.

If you are a registered Montgomery County voter and can produce one of seven specific documents, such as a utility bill or a bank statement with your name and address, you, too, can sit down in front a small computerized system as Commissioner Leslie Richards did and get a state sanctioned Voter Photo ID.

"The cost of making one ID is about a penny," Shapiro said.

He says add labor and the projected cost of the program under $5,000.

The county is using an element, some say loop hole, that allows a valid ID to be issued from a care facility. The county owns the 400-bed Parkhouse Nursing Home, and it will use Parkhouse to issue an ID's to any registered county voter, whether they live at Parkhouse or not.

An online calendar, found here, lists more than 50 locations and dates where Parkhouse ID's can be had.

"There are weekend hours, night hours at various locations throughout the county," said Commissioner Leslie Richards.

Statewide, the ID Law has cut along party lines, but not in Montgomery County, Republican Bruce Castor joined his Democratic colleagues. The outspoken former D.A. says he has not gotten any flack for his stand.

As for general remarks from Corbett Adminstration, officials are belittling the county effort as inappropriate.

"This is not a partisan issue and i am irritated it has turned into one," said Castor, "and I know the other commissioners did not intend that."

Castor says what the commissioners are doing is both right and legal.

The county effort begins on Wednesday.

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