Volunteers mobilize to educate primary voters on Pa. photo ID law

During Tuesday’s primary, the first test of Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law, Philadelphian-area voters will see extra poll watchers outside their polling places.

A coalition of organizations has mobilized teams of volunteer poll watchers unaffiliated with any party. They’ll be on the streets to educate people about the photo ID that will be required to vote this November. Elections workers will ask primary voters for photo ID but cannot turn anyone away.

A host of Philadelphia organizations have joined the Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition, convened by the Committee of Seventy.

Representing the City Commissioners Office, Jorge Santana says the coalition will have teams of volunteers distributing information on the new requirements outside polling places.

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“We’ve also spoken with every ward leader and with a lot of the judges of elections to let them know what the requirements are,” Santana said. “The coalition will be reinforcing this message that, in this primary, people can vote without the types of IDs they’ll need in November.”

Penn Action will field volunteers during the early morning and evening hours outside polling locations in Bristol.

Acceptable photo identification includes military IDs, passports, driver’s licenses, and college-issued identification cards with expiration dates.

Santana says any voters who encounter any problems at the polls should contact the City Commissioners Office, 215-686-3460, or their county’s Board of Elections.

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