Committee of 70 Holding Training Sessions for Voter ID Education

Where-to-Vote-on-Election-Day-2010-650x399The Committee of Seventy notes its Voter ID coalition will be sending “trained non-partisan volunteers to every city polling place to talk to voters about the Voter ID law” during the April 24 primary, during which time you do not necessarily need ID, but you will be asked for it and told to bring one in November. They’ll be holding training sessions for volunteers on Tuesday at the Community College of Philadelphia.

“There are so many volunteers members of the coalition who are going who have agreed to coach themselves at polling places on election day,” says Ellen Kaplan of the Committee of Seventy. “We’re going to have a morning shift and an evening shift….to let [voters] know the most basic facts [of obtaining an ID to vote].”

One of the biggest problems, she says, lie in student IDs. In Pennsylvania, if you are a student in the state, you can vote in the state. But the problem lies in the sort of IDs schools hand out to their students. “Some Universities have expiration dates on their IDs, some don’t,” Kaplan says. “It gets into a whole new set of problems. We want to make sure we’re capturing a critical mass of people on the 24th.”

Older voters, some of whom may be unable to get a birth certificate to show ID, may have similar problems. We’ve covered the issue here.

According to Seventy, the Pennsylvania “Department of State is spending $4 million on its statewide voter ID education campaign from now until November 6.” That’s both a large and small number—large because, uh, where was that money when Corbett was cutting Medicaid for children and everything else? Small, because that’s not enough to allow Commissioners the state over to educate the masses on this issue.

“In other words, it will be up to the media and groups within the individual counties to get the word out to voters so they have what they need in November,” an email from Seventy reads.

“We need to make sure that everybody who comes to the polls on the 24th really know what they need to do to prepare for November,” says Kaplan. “So, we’re going to be training the trainers, and then the trainers are going to go out and train the volunteers.”

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