Despite confusion last November about whether Pennsylvania voters needed to present photo identification to vote, the state does not plan to roll out an ad campaign about the new law before the May 21 primary election. Pennsylvania voters will not be required to show photo identification in the primary election, but some worry that voters may still be confused. “At the moment, we have no funding for a paid ad campaign,” said Ron Ruman, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of State. Under an agreement signed Thursday in a pending lawsuit over the voter ID law, both sides agreed that voters will not be required to show photo identification in the primary. Lawyers representing the Corbett administration and plaintiffs who are challenging the constitutionality of the voter ID law in state Commonwealth Court agreed that the law won’t be enforced as voters choose nominees for judicial and municipal offices.
Before the presidential election in November, the state launched a $5 million ad campaign announcing the voter ID law, which would have required voters to cast provisional ballots if they weren’t able to produce appropriate identification. That ad campaign was funded through the Help America Vote Act, which supports advertising only during federal election cycles, Mr. Ruman said.
In October, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson blocked implementation of the voter ID law because the state did not provide adequate time for voters without IDs to secure proper identification for the November general election.
But ads declaring the enforcement of the law remained after Judge Simpson’s ruling, potentially misleading voters about what documentation they would need in order to vote.