Document on VotesPA.com STILL Doesn’t Mention Voter ID Law [UPDATED]
A Voter Registration document on VotesPa.com sent over by Melody Kramer notes several requirements and instructions to register to vote in Pennsylvania—but nowhere does it mention the increasingly controversial Voter ID law.
Said document, found here, was sent over by the tipster after she went to the Pennsylvania Dept. of State’s website to change her address. The doc was still online as of 3 p.m. Tuesday.
If you click you are a “Person who has recently moved” in the front page drop-down box on VotesPa, then click a link to submitting a new Voter Registration Mail Application form, it brings you to said PDF.
That PDF is pretty straightforward and can be filled out to change your address with the state. But there’s a note at the bottom of the second page which seems to imply it’s from February 2009. This makes sense, as the part of the form which reads, “Identification When You Vote” reads as follows:
“Pennsylvania law requires that registered voters who appear in person to vote for the first time in an election district must present a form of identification. If you are voting for the first time in Pennsylvania, and you intend to vote by absentee ballot in a federal election, please include a copy of a form of identification with this voter registration mail application. Otherwise, you will be required by federal law to include a copy of a form of identification with your absentee ballot. (For information on the acceptable forms of identification and the exemptions to these identification requirements, please contact the voter registration commission in your county of residence.)” Or:
Of course, whether or not you have moved, you need to present ID at the polls in November 2012. The law used to be you needed to present ID the first time you voted. In November, and from then on, it’ll be all the time.
Many other places on VotesPa.com, including the Frequently Asked Questions, include information about Voter ID.
PhillyNow has left a message at the Dept. of State and we will let you know if we hear back.
UPDATE: Nick Winkler, Director of Public Relations in the PA Dept. of State’s Communications Office tells us the linked document is technically not wrong because the official Voter ID law does not go into effect until September 17.
“The voter ID law is not in effect, officially, yet, and we still have an outstanding special election,” he says, which takes place August 7th and will determine who will fill Sen. Jane Orie’s 40th Senatorial district seat in Allegheny and Butler Counties.
“This form is, the one that you’re reading right now, is specific because that is the accurate form for that special election,” he continues. “So, we obviously have the new form, and we already plan on updating it. We were planning on doing it closer to the Special Election timeframe so it wasn’t confusing. So, the short of the answer is, this form was accurate for that election and now we’re going to be uploading the new version — which, the only thing that changes is taking out the words ‘First time.’ That’s the only thing that changes.”
In terms of when the new form goes up, Winkler says the goal of timing is making sure they’re not confusing anyone. “We could put it up in two hours, we could put it up in two weeks,” he says, though he expects the updated version to be up in “the upcoming days.”