Election Office Addresses Voter ID Concerns
In a press release, Graham said many voters are concerned after receiving calls regarding their photo ID being adequate to vote in the upcoming Nov. 6 General Election. She said citizens have been contacted if the name on their Pennsylvania driver’s license differs from their voter registration name.
Under the new law, the identification standard requires the photo ID information to “substantially conform” to the voter registration information. The county and the state believe that the majority of voters’ driver’s licenses and voter records will fall within these guidelines, according to Graham.
She said the photo ID name doesn’t have to exactly match the name in the poll book. She said that poll workers, in consultation with the county board of elections, may use the same level of discretion and sound judgment as they have used in enforcing the “first-time voter” identification requirements previously required.
She said 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 E. Voter, Joe Earl Voter, Joseph Voter, Joe E. Voter, J. Earl Voter, J. Voter, J.E. Voter or Earl Voter. Or, it may have Margaret Smith Voter, Margaret Smith*, Maggy S. Voter, M.S. Voter, Maggy Voter, M. Smith Voter, Peg S. Voter or 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.
Graham said 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, she said 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 (email, fax, etc.) or in person and an affirmation that the voter is the same person who cast the provisional ballot.
She said 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 on the poll book. She said acceptable IDs include photo IDs issued by the U.S. Federal Government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including:
- a Pennsylvania Department of State ID for Voting Purposes.
- a Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-driver’s license photo ID (IDs are valid for voting purposes 12 months past expiration date).
- a valid U.S. passport (not expired).
- a 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). A military dependents’ ID must contain an expiration date.
- an employee photo ID issued by federal, state, county or municipal government (not expired).
- any photo ID cards from an accredited public or private state college or university (not expired).
- any 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, please call 1-877-VOTESPA or the Clearfield County Election and Voter Registration Office at (814)765-2642, Ext. 5053 or toll free within Clearfield County 1-888-965-2642.