Pa. secretary of the commonwealth offers voter-ID advice
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HARRISBURG -- As Pennsylvania prepares for its first elections with a new voter ID law, the secretary of the commonwealth said this morning that most people with expired driver's licenses can obtain usable identification cards without showing other documents.
Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele said the change, which also applies to non-driver photo IDs, would make it easier for some senior citizens to get an acceptable ID. People whose IDs expired in 1990 or later can get a new photo ID from a Department of Transportation license center without showing a birth certificate or other proof of identification or residence, Ms. Aichele said.
"This will be particularly helpful for senior citizens who no longer drive and whose licenses have expired," she said.
Workers will verify the identity of those people through the department's database.
That option may not apply to people whose licenses expired before 1990, some of whom are not listed in the department system. Ms.
Aichele pledged to work with those voters to help them obtain acceptable IDs.
She also asked colleges and universities in the state to include expiration dates on the IDs they issue to students, so the cards would be acceptable proof of identity under the law.
Penn State University announced this week it will begin listing expiration dates on its ID cards this summer. In the fall, current students without another form of identification will be issued stickers with expiration dates to attach to their university IDs.
The new law requires poll workers to ask voters at the primary elections on Tuesday for photo identification, but voters without it can still cast ballots.
Starting in November, a person without identification will have to cast a provisional ballot that would become valid if they verify their identity within six days.
Acceptable forms of identification include those issued by the state or federal governments or a Pennsylvania university, nursing home or municipality.
People without identification can receive a free ID from the Department of Transportation, and those with religious objections to being photographed can use state-issued IDs that are valid without a photo.
First Published April 18, 2012 12:25 pm