Spurred by the disclosure that 758,000 registered voters do not have Pennsylvania drivers’ licenses, six civic groups called on Gov. Corbett Friday to delay implementation of a new voter ID requirement for at least a year. The Corbett administration immediately rejected the request. “Our goal since the law was signed is to reach out to all voters to make them aware of the law so all eligible voters are able to get ID if needed, and cast ballots in November,” said Ron Ruman, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, in charge of the state election machinery. Ruman said Corbett did not have authority on his own to delay the photo ID requirement, and would not ask the Republican-controlled legislature to change the law, passed and signed by the governor last March. “The administration supports the law,” Ruman said in an email, “because it protects the integrity of every vote and voter by giving Pennsylvania for the first time a reliable way to verify the identity of each voter at the polls. This will help detect and deter any illegal voting.”
The new law will require every voter going to the polls in November to provide a specified form of photo identification: either a Pennsylvania driver’s license, a non-driver photo ID issued by PennDOT, a U.S. passport, a photo ID from an accredited Pennsylvania college, U.S. military ID, ID from a Pennsylvania care facility, or photo ID issued to government employees.
While PennDOT ID would be valid for voting purposes up to 12 months after expiration, the other forms of ID would have to be current, with specified expiration dates. When the photo ID requirement was moving through the legislature last winter, Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele advised lawmakers that 99 percent of the state’s voters already had the necessary identification, most of them through PennDOT. Tuesday afternoon, the day before the July 4th holiday, her department issued a press release disclosing the results of a computerized match between PennDOT’s databases and a database of registered voters.
Full Article: Groups appeal for delay on voter ID; Corbett refuses.