Montgomery County will begin issuing voter identifications from a county nursing home on Oct. 1.
Montgomery County Commissioners chairman Josh Shapiro says that in reading the law, county officials discovered it would permit the nursing home to issue IDs to anyone, not just to staff and patients.
“There was frustration out there given the fact that people were having trouble getting IDs through the Commonwealth [at PennDOT offices],” Shapiro said Friday. “We wanted to exercise our legal authority to use Montgomery County resources to help these individuals.”
Responding to Department of State comments to a Philadelphia paper that the move was legal but not in “the legislative intent of the law,” Commissioner Bruce Castor, a former DA and a Republican, says there is no spirit of the law, just the letter of it. He also voted to issue the IDs.
“I think there’s so much desire to politicize the issue that people take their eye off the ball,” Castor said. “And everything comes down to what the law says and what does the law mean.”
Difficulty getting state IDs is at the heart of the legal challenge against Pennsylvania’s much-debated voter ID law, which could delay implementation until after the general election.
Allegheny County also intends to pursue the same strategy, issuing IDs from its community college and nursing facilities.