Strong turnout for voter ID workshop in Northwest Philadelphia

A larger than expected crowd turned out for a Voter ID workshop in Northwest Philadelphia Thursday night.

This comes during a week the controversial Pennsylvania law faces a court challenge in Harrisburg. The presiding judge says he expects to rule on the case by mid-August.

Around 100 community members, many elderly, gathered in the Brossman Center at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in an effort to ensure largely Democratic voters are able to vote in the November Presidential election.

The large turnout pleased Kiyasha Tyson, spokeswomen for State Rep. Cherelle Parker (D.,Pa.)

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“We didn’t know this many of you were coming,” said Tyson as she addressed the crowd Tyson said this was the most successful voter ID training class she’s conducted to date.

“We held our first meeting and around five people came. When we had our second meeting and a little over 10 people came. Now for our third meeting we were surprised to get well over 50, so it’s nice to see so many people being pro-active about voting,” said Tyson.

For voters who may not have a proper ID, Tyson warned the crowd the new rules are complicated.

“This new law has a very specific list of acceptable forms of identification. If you don’t have one of these valid forms of identification you need to get a specific voter identification card issued by Penn Dot,” said Tyson.

Requirements to vote

All voters are required to show a photo ID before voting.

Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-driver’s license photo ID

Valid U.S. Passport

U.S. military ID

Employee photo ID issued by Federal, PA, County or Municipal government

Photo ID cards from an accredited Pennsylvania public or private institution of higher learning

Photo ID cards issued by a Pennsylvania care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences or personal care homes

If you do not have one of these IDs, you may be entitled to get one free of charge at a PennDOT Driver License Center.

Among those in attendance were Pennsylvania Democratic Ward leaders including John Connelly, Mable C. Windham, and Donna Reed Miller of the 12th, 17th , and 59th wards respectively . A retired councilwoman for Philadelphia’s 8th district, Donna Reed Miller believes the new law’s burden could affect everybody in November unless they educate themselves.

“We need to take responsibility and know our rights, because on Election Day who are they going to see? They’re going to see us, the voters,” said Miller.

Recently released data from Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation shows around 759,000 Pennsylvanians lack a Penn Dot photo identification. That includes 186,830 Philadelphians, who represent 18.2% of the city’s registered voters.

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