PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Protesters chanted “ID law, poll tax” outside the Downtown driver license center, just as Mary Hefferan, of Homewood, who does not drive, got an ID.
“It’s like everywhere you go it’s always something charged,” says Hefferan. “Me being a low-income mom it’s not that easy.”
Beginning this fall, the following photo ID’s with an expiration date on them will work at the polls.
- PA driver’s license
- US passport
- US military ID
- Federal, state, county, or municipal employee ID
- Photo ID from an accredited PA public or private university
- Photo ID issued by a PA nursing home, assisted living home, or health care facility
But thousands of voters do not have any of these forms of identification.
If you need a voter ID from the state of Pennsylvania, it’s not easy but it’s doable. There are 72 driver license centers in the state — four in Allegheny County — and with the proper paperwork you can get an ID for yourself.
That’s what Betty Livingston did with help from her daughter who worries about seniors who can’t get to these centers.
“I think that would raise some issues because not only would they need to find someone bring them, but they would need to I think it’s a birth certificate,” says Lynnette Irwin of Bethel Park.
To get a photo ID, a citizen needs a social security card plus either a birth certificate, valid passport, citizenship certificate, or naturalization certificate plus two proofs of residency like utility bills or mortgage documents.
Seniors who once had a driver’s license, however, may be able to short-cut the process and issue an ID card without all these documents, if PennDOT already has your name in the system.
“Senior citizens, poor people will have the most difficult time being able to vote, and the vote is one of our pillars of what we believe is part of democracy,” says Fr. Greg Swiderski, a member of the Pittsburgh Association of Priests who was at the demonstration.
The new law, which is expected to be challenged in court, does not apply to the April primary but will take effect for the November general election.