I'll admit it. Even though Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law was passed over 4 months ago, I did not know very much about it. I knew it was controversial and that it only really affected a few people. In fact, originally state officials claimed it hardly effected anyone at all, with 99% of voters having valid Pennsylvania IDs (they later changed this number to 91%). I really had not taken the time to research what this new law meant.
Since I began participating in a voter registration project, signing up people to vote and collecting pledges to vote, I have been asked about the Voter ID law by several people, prompting me to learn as much about it as possible.
It is a good thing I did. Other than being able to talk to others about the law, I found out that I, myself, do not even have proper identification to vote in the upcoming presidential election. I am not the only one affected: over 758,000 Pennsylvania registered voters are without a PennDOT-issued driver's license or non-driver id. Without these acceptable forms of id, 9% of voters may not be able to vote.
So, what sort of identification do you need to be able to vote this November?
Acceptable Forms of ID
- Photo IDs issued by the U.S. Federal Government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- PennDOT-issued 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
- U.S. military ID- active duty and retired military (a military 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, PA, PA County or PA Municipal government
- Photo ID from an accredited PA public or private institution of higher learning, including colleges, universities, seminaries, community colleges and other two-year colleges . The university or college ID MUST have an expiration date on it and it must be current at the time of voting
- Photo ID issued by a PA care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences or personal care homes
- Medicare/Medicaid cards, Access cards, Dept. of Veterans Affairs cards, school district employee IDs, and high school IDs will NOT be accepted.
"(1) your photo ID is current and includes an expiration date. Driver’s licenses and PennDOT non-driver photo IDs can be expired by one year or less. Military IDs can say expiration date is indefinite.
(2) AND the name on your photo ID closely matches your name in the voter registry."
Want to know what you have to do? VotesPA will show you the steps to take to have the correct form of id at the polls. The PennDOT website also has great info on how to get your ID.