A small crowd of seniors and other interested voters gathered in the Bombay Room of the Chestnut Hill Hotel Tuesday afternoon, to learn more about Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law.
The educational event, called “Will I Be Able to Vote?” was aimed to help those without photo IDs obtain one in time to vote Nov. 6 in the presidential election.
“The is a nonpartisan afternoon for education. Heads are still spinning from all of the changes,” said Mary Zell, Executive Director of the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment, which cosponsored the event.
The information was relayed by volunteers for Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition, along with additional details given by Kyasha Tyson, from State Rep. Cherelle Parker’s office.
The presenters were bombarded with questions. Nearly each individual attending the event had a chance to ask questions about their own IDs or how to get one.
Most importantly, though, Stephen Cohen from the Voter ID Coalition, recommended that everyone who wants to vote in the upcoming election checks immediately to see if their ID is current.
“Some people raise their hands and say, ‘yes, I have a current ID,’ and then they take it out and it has expired,” Cohen said.
In the case of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation-issued photo IDs, they will be acceptable at the polls even if they have expired within the last 12 months. But that is not the case for other forms of identification. An expired passport will not be accepted.
Two guidelines were given to check if your ID is valid for voting purposes:
- That the ID has an expiration date after Nov. 7, 2012 (or Nov. 7, 2011 in the case of PennDOT-issued IDs).
- The name on the ID closely matches the name on the voter registry.
For a detailed handbook on the restrictions of the Voter ID Law, residents can stop by Rep. Parker's office at 1536 Wadsworth Avenue, or download a PDF version of the guide here.