Civil Liberties Union pushes for Pennsylvania voter ID clarification

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HARRISBURG -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and partners are asking a judge to order the state to publicize that photo ID is not required to vote on Election Day.

The groups behind a lawsuit that resulted in an order that the law could not take full effect this election argue in a court filing that the state in some cases has continued telling voters they need to show photo identification at the polls. They further claim that changes after the ruling to the publicity campaign for voter ID have been "so slight and subtle" that they cannot counter earlier advertising about the law.

Judge Robert Simpson, who issued the preliminary injunction, ruled Wednesday that the state has until Tuesday -- one week before the election -- to respond. The groups behind the lawsuit replied that a ruling on that day would be too late and asked that the state be ordered to respond today.

Ron Ruman, a spokesman for the Department of State, said the revised advertisements comply with the ruling.

"If you look at the ads, it very clearly says when voting on Nov. 6, you will be asked but not required to show photo ID," he said.

First-time voters and those voting in a new polling place must show identification, though not necessarily photo identification, as they did before the voter ID requirement became law.

electionspa - state

Karen Langley: klangley@post-gazette.com or 717-787-2141.


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