Critics of the state’s photo identification requirement at the polls say Pennsylvania-born voters will face a lengthy process to get a newly created photo ID for voting purposes.
The state’s PennDOT licensing centers are issuing two kinds of IDs that will be valid at the polls — driver’s or non-driver’s licenses. And a new kind of voter ID, released this week, for people who don’t have the key documents, such as a birth certificate, they need for a license.
The advocacy group Committee of 70 says voters born in Pennsylvania will have to go to greater lengths to prove they can’t get those key documents because their birth certificate is likely to be on file with the state.
Couldn’t that mean native Pennsylvanians will have to wait for a records check, and make a second trip to a PennDOT center afterward?
Department of State spokesman Ron Ruman says that’s possible, but people also will be able to just sign a paper saying they can’t get the documents they need.
“We’re taking people on their word that they cannot get it, so we would hope that folks would have made some attempt to do that,” Ruman said. “We’re not going to check on that, but we would hope that folks would be honest about that.”
Pennsylvania-born voters who sign the paper in question will forgo the PennDOT license and get the newly created voter ID, avoiding what could be a lengthy certification process.
Backers of the voter ID law said the state needed to establish ID requirements to stamp out potential fraud.