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PennDOT Issuing Free Voter ID Cards for Election 2012

This new ID is a safety net for residents who cannot obtain other types of photo identification pre-election, PennDOT says.

Since the was enacted in March, PennDOT told Patch it has been working closely with the Department of State to ensure that every voter has the opportunity to obtain photo identification.

The program started Monday in Pittsburgh and statewide today.

Voters who lack verification documents necessary for a secure Pennsylvania photo ID (non-driver’s license ID card), will be able to obtain a new Department of State voter identification card for free by visiting a PennDOT Driver License Center. 

“Our goal is to ensure that every person who needs an ID can get one, and this new ID serves as a safety net for those who can’t find or obtain verification documents normally required for a PennDOT secure identification card,” said PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch. 

The Department of State Voter ID is valid only for voting purposes. For this reason, if a resident has the necessary documents, PennDOT’s primary focus is to issue a secure Pennsylvania identification.

If the customer was born in Pennsylvania but does not possess a birth certificate with a raised seal, PennDOT works directly with Department of Health to certify the customer’s birth record. If the customer still cannot qualify for a PennDOT secure ID, the department will then work to issue the new Department of State Voter ID card.

Residents who want the new Department of State Voter ID will need to provide their name, address, Social Security number, proof of residency and previous name and/or address if changed in the past 12 months.

The applicant must complete a Department of State ID application form and sign a document affirming that they are a registered voter but have no other form of identification that can be used for voting.

Staff at the Driver License Center will contact the Department of State to confirm that the person is registered to vote. Once verified, the person will receive the free Department of State Voter ID, which is valid for 10 years.

PennDOT has posted signs to assist customers seeking Voter Identification cards at the state’s 71 Driver License Centers. The downtown Pittsburgh center has the new Department of State Voter ID cards available now. The other centers statewide that were closed on Monday will have them today. PennDOT serves about 2.4 million customers at the centers each year.

Recently, Democrat Larry Maggi  because he feared he wouldn't be able to vote due to having a different name on his voter registration than he does on his driver’s license. Soon after, a resident and Republican Eric Rouillard wrote a reply on how the new voter ID law is "harmless." You can revisit his reply .

For more information on voting and the types of photo IDs that can be used at the polls, visit www.votespa.com or www.dos.state.pa.us.

Follow PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews.

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