Clearfield County reviews guidelines for Voter ID Law|
Monday, September 17, 2012
The Clearfield County Election/Voter Registration Office has been receiving many calls about the new Voter Identification Law. Many of the callers' concerns focus on receiving calls regarding their photo identification being adequate to vote in the upcoming election. Some of these calls relate to a list of voters whose Pennsylvania driver's license name differs from the same person's voter registration.
The identification standard under the new law requires that the information contained in the photo identification must "substantially conform" to the voter registration information. Listed below are examples of names which would "substantially conform" with the law. The county and the state believe that most voters' driver's licenses and their voter record will fall within these guidelines.
Does the name on the photo ID have to match exactly to the name in the poll book?
No. The name on the photo ID must "substantially conform" to the name in the poll book. Poll workers, in consultation with the county board of elections, may use the same level of discretion and sound judgment as they used in enforcing the "first-time voter" identification requirements previously required. People often use nicknames, middle names and initials as a substitute for their given name. For example, a voter whose name is Joseph Earl Voter or Margaret Smith Voter may have a photo ID that contains any one of the following:
Joseph Earl Voter, Joseph E. Voter, Joseph Voter, J. Earl Voter, J.E. Voter, Joe Earl Voter, Joe E. Voter, J. Voter, Earl Voter; Margaret Smith Voter, Maggy S. Voter, Maggy Voter, Peg S. Voter, *Margaret Smith, M.S. Voter, M. Smith Voter, M. Voter.
*In this example a voter who recently changed her name by reason of marriage presents a valid Pennsylvania driver's license or Pennsylvania ID card accompanied by a PennDOT update card, which is sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the Voter ID Law regarding proof of identification.
What if a voter does not present an acceptable form of photo ID?
If a voter does not present an acceptable form of photo ID at the polling place, the voter must be given the opportunity to vote by provisional ballot. In order for the provisional ballot to count, the voter must, within six days after the day of the election, provide the county board of elections with a copy of an acceptable form of photo ID via mail, electronically (e-mail, fax, etc.) or in person and an affirmation that the voter is the same person who cast the provisional ballot.
All photo IDs must be current and contain an expiration date, unless noted otherwise.
All photo IDs must also contain the name of the voter and the name must "substantially conform" to the name in the poll book.
Acceptable IDs include:
• Photo IDs issued by the U.S. Federal Government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania including the state Department of State ID for voting purposes.
• Pennsylvania driver's license or non-driver's license photo ID (IDs are valid for voting purposes 12 months past expiration date)
• Valid U.S. passport (not expired).
• U.S. military ID - active duty and retired military (a military or veteran's ID must designate an expiration date or designate that the expiration date is indefinite). Military dependents' ID must contain an expiration date.
• Employee photo ID issued by federal, state, county or municipal government (not expired)
• Photo ID cards from an accredited public or private state college or university (not expired).
• Photo ID cards issued by a state care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences or personal care homes (not expired).
For additional information, call 1-877-VOTESPA or the Clearfield County Election/Voter Registration Office at 765-2642 extension 5053 or toll free within Clearfield County at 1-888-965-2642.