In the recent primary election, voters were asked for identification (ID), but not required to produce it. Voter ID will be required in the November election. In an effort to mitigate onerous requirements for those who do not currently have suitable ID, the Secretary of the Commonwealth announced a process intended to make it easier for those who have had an expired driver’s license or non-driver license photo ID to obtain a valid ID that will authorize them to vote. Information from the PENNDOT database will be used to verify identification and the card will be issued. Individuals may contact PENNDOT at 800-932-4600 to verify that information for licenses that expired before 1990 is still in the database. An application form is required for the non-driver license photo ID. Individuals are required to sign an affirmation that they have no other acceptable form of photo ID for voting purposes to receive the non-driver license photo ID at no charge.
Photo IDs from Pennsylvania care facilities including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences, or personal care homes are valid, as long as they include the name of the facility, the name and photo of the voter, and an expiration date. Accredited Pennsylvania public or private college and university photo IDs with expiration dates can also be used. If the card does not have an expiration date, a date sticker can be used.
Starting with the November election, all photo IDs must be current and contain an expiration date, unless otherwise noted. Acceptable IDs include:
- Photo IDs issued by the US government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
- Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-driver’s license photo ID (IDs are valid for voting purposes 12 months past expiration date);
- Valid US passport;
- US military ID – active duty and retired military (dependents’ ID must contain an expiration date);
- Employee photo ID issued by federal, Pennsylvania state, or a Pennsylvania county or municipal government;
- Photo ID cards from an accredited public or private Pennsylvania college or university; or
- Photo ID cards issued by a Pennsylvania care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences, or personal care homes.
If a voter does not have a photo ID at the polls in November, he or she may use a provisional ballot and will have six days to provide a photo ID to the county election office in person, by mail, e-mail, or fax. More information is available at www.VotesPA.com, or 877-VOTESPA (877-868-3772). Voter ID acts in Pennsylvania and other states are being contested. Despite efforts to make it easier to obtain IDs, voter ID requirements will disenfranchise many.