No voter ID ad campaign planned for primary

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Despite confusion about whether Pennsylvania voters would need to present photo identification to vote last November, the state does not plan to roll out an ad campaign before the May 21 primary election.

"At the moment, we have no funding for a paid ad campaign," said Ron Ruman, press secretary for the Pennsylvania department of state.

The state launched a $5 million ad campaign last year 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 only supports advertising during federal election cycles, Mr. Ruman said.

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.

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.

A trial on the constitutionality of the law is scheduled to begin July 15, well after the May 21 primary.

"We're looking at the fall for the first potential implementation of the law. We hope that will be the case," Mr. Ruman said. "We're hoping that by this November the public will be educated on the law to know what ID's they can bring to allow them to vote. Assuming [the law] is upheld."

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Alex Zimmerman: azimmerman@post-gazette.com


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