With elections only one week away, many Pennsylvania residents are still unsure of what is and what isn’t required of them when they head to the polls.
On Tuesday, NBC10 spoke with several registered voters who believed that they needed their ID in order to vote next week. This isn’t true however. While you may be asked to show your ID at a voting place, it’s not required.
“You will be allowed to vote without ID,” said Leslie Richards of the Montgomery County Elections Chair. “Nobody is required to bring ID to vote.”
Richards says she has an issue with TV ads that are currently running which she claims confuses people into thinking they need ID in order to vote. She now fears that those who believe they need ID to vote and don’t have it won't head to the polls.
The Committee of 70, the Philadelphia-based election watch dog group, do say however that there is one exception when it comes to voting ID. If you’re new to a polling place or if it’s the first time you’re voting, you will need some form of identification. You won’t necessarily need a picture ID however. A utility bill or a piece of mail is also suitable.
The Pennsylvania voter ID law would be one of the strictest in the nation, but it has never been implemented.
After legal jousting that reached the state Supreme Court, a judge blocked enforcement in last year's presidential election and again in this year's municipal and judicial primary because of lingering concern that it could disenfranchise voters who lacked a valid photo ID.
The 2012 law was approved without any Democratic votes by the Legislature's Republican majority and signed by GOP Gov. Tom Corbett amid a bitterly contested White House race in which Democratic President Barack Obama ultimately carried Pennsylvania.
Critics derided the law as a cynical GOP effort to discourage voting by young adults, minorities, the elderly, poor and disabled from going to the polls. Republicans said most Pennsylvanians have driver's licenses to use as photo ID and claimed that the law would discourage voter fraud.