Voter ID Law in Pennsylvania

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UPDATE:  YOU NO LONGER NEED AN ID TO VOTE IN THE NOV 2012 ELECTION.  REGARDLESS OF ANY ADS YOU’VE HEARD ON THE RADIO OR SEEN ON TV.  THE LAW STILL STANDS, BUT DUE TO A RECENT COURT RULING IT WILL NOT BE ENFORCED IN NOVEMBER.

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Happy Labor Day!  As always, please take at least a moment today to remember the true meaning of the holiday amid your BBQs and sports.

Today we’ll talk about something extremely patriotic.  Voting.  In Pennsylvania, this year in order to vote at the polls you will have produce a photo ID.  This is not a political blog, so I won’t delve into how this effects certain demographics and their right to elect their own representatives, but I will tell you what you need, how you can obtain it, and how you can get educated about who you can vote for.

When you go into your polling place, you will have to produce a valid ID.  The address does not have to match your current, voting address.  Here are the types of ID that will be accepted:

  • PA Driver’s License. Make sure the expiration date was less than 12 months ago or is currently valid.
  • An ID issued by PennDOT.  Same as the Driver’s License with expiration dates.
  • US Passport.  Make sure the expiration date is AFTER November 6, 2012.
  • A military ID for members of the military.  Active duty, retired, guard…doesn’t matter. Expiration date doesn’t matter.
  • A military dependent ID.  Expiration date must be AFTER November 6, 2012
  • A federal, state of Pennsylvania, PA county, or PA municipality employee ID.  (This doesn’t include school employee IDs.)  Expiration date must be AFTER November 6, 2012.
  • An ID from an accredited PA university, community college, college, seminary, or other two-year college.  Please note the accredited part.  Must be issued to you as an employee, student, alumni, or faculty.  Expiration date must be AFTER November 6, 2012.
  • An ID issued by a PA care facility.  This includes assisted living residences, long-term care facilities, and personal care homes.  Expiration date must be AFTER November 6, 2012.
my driver's license
Source
Um…I don’t have any of those.
That’s inconvenient.  I know.  BUT, don’t give up on casting your vote just yet.  Getting an ID for voting is free.  You’re going to have to go to a Driver’s License Center in the state, but there is no cost.  You will have to fill out form DL-54A, which you can find here.  You’re also going to have to fill out this paper that says I swear left right up and down I don’t have any of the above IDs.  You can find that here.    When you come in, be prepared to provide proof that you are who you say you are.  You’ll need three things:
  1. Your social security card.
  2. A birth certificate (raised seal and all,) passport, or certificate of naturalization/US citizenship.
  3. Two things that prove you live where you say you live.  Examples are W-2s, utility bills, or your lease.
 
I don’t get my picture taken because of my religion.
I hope this isn’t a moot point, but I know we have a lot of Amish in our state.  I don’t know how many people that have religious convictions that prohibit them from getting photographed would be allowed to use the internet.  I’m not saying this to be insensitive, I just really don’t know.  But if you stumble upon this article and this is a problem for you, PennDOT DOES issue non-photo IDs that will be accepted at the polls.
I don’t know what my options are on my ballot.
I’m pretty sure you’re well aware of what your options will be for your president.  But you may not know the names of all those people on the ballot or what they stand for.  This website allows you to find out who is on your ballot.  It will tell you which party they are from, but nothing more.  It’s great because you can find out what your options are without being bombarded by propaganda from either side of the political aisle.  Local officials are equally important if not more so to your day to day life than the people you vote for in national elections, so it’s a good idea to know who they are and what they want to change/keep the same in your community.  This website works for you no matter where you live in the country; not just Pennsylvania.
Happy Labor Day, all!
 
*I learned a lot of this information here.  It may be helpful to Pennsylvania voters to review it in full, too.*

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16 thoughts on “Voter ID Law in Pennsylvania

  1. CF @ OutlierModel

    Voting in Canada is kind of inane as well. You don’t need a voter ID, but you usually get a postcard in the mail for voting or you can use two pieces of ID. However, if you don’t show up to the correct ballot station, you have to trek to your correct station, they cannot process it for you at all.

    Once I was sent to THREE incorrect stations in a row. I ended up not voting :S

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      That’s not right! Ours used to be super easy…people were just lazy or apathetic. Now all we have to do is show an ID in addition to showing up, but getting that ID and making sure it matches the standards can seem intimidating to some people.

      Reply
  2. femmefrugality

    That’s so crazy! And sucks! If you go to the website I reference to find out who to vote for, they’ll also tell you where your polling station is. That doesn’t help if you’re Canadian, though.This ID thing is new for us this year.

    Reply
  3. AverageJoe

    I didn’t know (before these voter I.D. laws) that we had high voter fraud. Thank goodness we’re cleaning that up.

    Oh, wait…we DIDN’T have high voter fraud. Hmmm…..

    (That’s about as political as I’ll ever get in public….)

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      Haha I was not very happy with you until your second paragraph. I’m on the verge of just saying what needs to be said. I’m pretty proud of myself for keeping it this suppressed.

      Reply
    2. Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals

      LOL, Joe, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY!

      A few things to note here:

      *doesn’t PA charge to get a certified copy of your birth certificate? I know my home state charges $15 for the document
      *I’d read in the NYT that PA isn’t prepared (administratively, that is) to be able to actually get IDs ready in time for the 750,000 or so voters who need them

      Reply
    3. femmefrugality

      Yes! They do! The ID itself is free, but not the documents you need to provide in order to get it. I have no doubts that they’re not administratively prepared. In my opinion the whole thing is a ridiculous ploy; a poll tax; a violation of our most sacred of rights.

      Sorry. Held my tongue as long as I could.

      Reply
  4. Miss Caitlin S.

    oh intersting- I would have never given this so much thought! Great tips and way to make it easier on those who don’t know. And I have been to Pennsylvania Amish country a lot and I have always wanted to take pictures with them! (I don’t try, believe me). I love pictures so much I always want to say ‘don’t you want a picture of you at some point??!’. Again, I don’t say that either and just enjoy the good apple cider 🙂

    Reply

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