Protecting the Integrity of Your Vote
A new state law requires every voter in future elections to show a valid form of photo identification in order to vote. However, due to a recent court ruling, this requirement will be delayed until after the November 2012 election. When you arrive at your polling place in November, election officials may ask if you have photo ID, but no voter will be prevented from casting their ballot if they do not have a valid form of identification.
If you do not possess a valid photo ID, one can be provided to you at no charge. While photo ID will not be required for the upcoming election in November, it is important for local residents who do not have a valid photo ID to begin the process to obtain one as soon as possible. To ensure that exercising your right to vote is stress-free, I have provided you with information to ensure that you have the proper identification that will be required in future elections in 2013 and beyond.
Should you have any questions or need assistance in obtaining the proper identification needed to vote, please contact my office.
What if I forget to bring my photo identification to the polling place?
If you do not have a photo ID in the November 2012 election, you will still be able to vote. In future elections, no one legally entitled to vote will be denied the right to do so. If you forget to bring identification in elections in 2013 and beyond, you will be able to cast a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there is some question regarding a voter's eligibility. You will then have six days to present valid photo identification to your county election board, which can be done by email, mail, fax or in person.
What if I don't have any acceptable photo identification?
Voters who do not currently have a valid form of photo identification may obtain one from PennDOT at no cost. Detailed information about how to do this is available at PennDOT's website.
What types of photo identification are acceptable?
Valid forms of identification must include a name, photo and expiration date. Most people will use their driver's license.
Acceptable forms of identification include:
What changes if I vote by absentee ballot?
A photo identification is not required to vote by absentee ballot. Voters who apply for an absentee ballot will be required to provide one of the following:
More information is available at the Department of State's VotesPA.com website.
* In the case of identification issued by the U.S. Armed Forces or their reserve components (including the Pennsylvania National Guard) which establishes the voter as a current member or a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard and does not designate a specific date on which the document expires, the identification must include a notation indicating that the expiration is indefinite.
** If the identification was issued by PennDOT, it will remain valid for voting purposes for 12 months beyond the expiration date.
*** Pennsylvania residents who attend out-of-state colleges will not be able to use their student identifications to vote.