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Wayne election bureau prepares for photo voter ID;‘It’s a solution in search of a problem’


March 27, 2012

Since Governor Tom Corbett signed into law HB 934, also known as the Photo Voter ID Bill, on March 14, county election coordinators, including Cindy Furman of the Wayne County bureau, are busy getting ready.

“The primary vote on April 24 will be a practice drill,” Furman told commissioners at their meeting on March 20.

At that time, the poll workers must ask if a voter has a photo ID. If they do not, they can still vote but workers have to hand them an official notice that such IDs must be presented in the general election on November l6. The flier outlines the kinds of ID are acceptable.

“At the general election, if a voter has no valid photo voter ID, he or she can still vote but they must use a provisional ballot,” Furman said. “They then have six days in which to come into the bureau and present a valid photo ID. Only then will their vote be counted.”

Absentee ballots must be accompanied by a photo voter ID. The details of how that would be accomplished have not yet been finalized, Furman said.

In the state legislature, the vote fell along party lines, with the Republicans prevailing since they are in the majority.
“It’s a solution in search of a problem,” said commissioner Wendell Kay, a Democrat. Kay said that there were very few instances of voter fraud nationally.

After the meeting, when Furman, who has worked in the election bureau for 14 years, was asked if she had ever witnessed or heard of any instances of voter fraud in the county, said, “None, but we are a very small county.”

The following photo IDs are valid: a Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-driver’s license photo ID, a photo ID issued by the U. S. Federal Government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a valid U.S. passport, or a U.S. military ID – active duty and retired military (a military or veteran’s ID must designate an expiration date or designate that the expiration date is indefinite), for military dependents the ID must contain an expiration date.

Also accepted are employee photo IDs issued by the federal, state, county or municipal governments, photo ID cards from an accredited public or private state college or university and photo ID cards issued by a state care facility, assisted living or personal care homes. Only Pennsylvania driving licenses will be honored, no license from another state is valid.

If any citizen has no valid photo ID, he or she can get one, free of charge from any motor vehicles office in the state, Furman said.