PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With Election Day is just over two months away and Pennsylvania’s new voter identification law still hanging in the balance, the national president of the NAACP was in Pittsburgh Sunday to discuss voter issues.
Voters in Pennsylvania have just over a month to prepare for the November election. And under the voter ID law, they face new requirements before going to the polls.
Election Day is Nov. 6, but the deadline to register is Oct. 9. And this Election Day, you must have a photo ID in order to vote; even if you have voted at the same polling place for years.
Only certain forms of photo ID are going to be accepted, like a Pennsylvania driver’s license, a PennDOT non-driver’s photo ID, a United States passport, an accredited Pennsylvania college- or university-issued photo ID with an expiration date.
Certain IDs will not be accepted, like veterans affairs cards, Medicare and Medicaid cards and access cards.
National NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous visited Pittsburgh this weekend to talk to area churches about the new voter ID law, and which Pennsylvania voters could be impacted if their identification isn’t up to date.
“People who are too poor to own a car tend not to have a driver’s license; people who are so poor that they have to move apartments frequently tend not to have the correct address on their driver’s license, there’s all sorts of reasons,” said Jealous. “It’s students and seniors citizens of all colors, and it’s black people of all ages disproportionately.”
Supporters of the voter ID law argue getting identification shouldn’t be too difficult for most.
“Admittedly, there are some people that have some circumstances that they don’t have [ID], but I am sure that we can muster enough people to get them registered,” said Jim Roddey, of chair of the Allegheny County Republican Party.
However, detractors liken the added costs to charging a fee to vote.
“We say it’s a new poll tax because not only do you have to pay for an ID in many cases, you have to pay to actually get a copy of your birth certificate, you have to go pay to get your Social Security card that you may have lost. There’s a whole bunch of fees related to documents and a whole bunch of time, and time is really money for people when they can’t work.”
The state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an appeal on the voter ID bill later this month; but in the meantime, if you are planning on voting in the November election, now is the time to make sure your registration is up to date.