HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » U.S. » Pennsylvania (Group) » PA voter ID.
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 02:04 AM

PA voter ID.

My husband filed a new voter registration form to make an adjustment to the way his name was displayed on his voter registration card. His PA driver's license showed his middle initial and his voter ID card did not. As of this morning the voter registration status still showed the old information and he has not yet received a new voter ID card. I called the voter registration office at the county seat for Luzerne county to find out why there was a delay. The woman I spoke to informed me that precinct workers will not be scrutinizing driver's license info to see if it agrees with their voter rolls. When I expressed my doubts about her statement she took down his info and told me she would adjust their database so it matched his driver's license and send him a new card.

Lesson learned: call your voter registration office if you need to clarify the rules of enforcement. It was as simple as a five minute phone call.

5 replies, 975 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply PA voter ID. (Original post)
Lugnut Sep 2012 OP
Ednahilda Sep 2012 #1
JPZenger Sep 2012 #2
PADemD Sep 2012 #3
Curmudgeoness Sep 2012 #4
Lugnut Sep 2012 #5

Response to Lugnut (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 09:39 AM

1. Here's what I posted on another thread. It bears repeating.

I have a copy of the "Poll Workers Guide" which was sent to all judges and clerks of elections in anticipation of the upcoming election right in front of me. This is exactly what is says about names and this is what poll workers must abide by:

"Does the name on the Photo ID have to match exactly to the name in the poll book?

Answer: No. The name on the Photo ID must substantially conform (emphasis in the original) to the name in the poll book. Poll workers, in consultation with the county board of elections, may use the same level of discretion and sound judgement as they used in enforcing the 'first -time voter' identification requirements previously required. People often use nicknames, middle names and initials as a substitute for their given name. For example, a voter whose name is Joseph Earl Voter or Margaret Smith Voter may have a Photo ID that contains any one of the following:

Joseph E. Voter, Joseph Voter, J. Earl Voter, J.E. Voter, Joe Earl Voter, Joe E. Voter, J. Voter, Earl Voter.

Margaret Smith Voter, Maggy S. Voter, Maggy Voter, Peg. S. Voter, *Margaret Smith, M.S. Voter, M Smith Voter, M Voter.

* In this example a voter who recently changed her name by reason of marriage presents a valid Pennsylvania driver's license or Pennsylvania ID card accompanied by a PennDOT update card, which is sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the Voter ID law regarding proof of identification."


This is the official word to poll workers from the Secretary of State of PA.

If you go to the polls with an ID that conforms to the examples above and you are denied the right to cast a regular (not provisional) ballot, ask the judge of elections at your polling place (there's a judge of elections at every polling place) to call the county board to clarify. The judge will do it while you wait. I was a poll worker in PA for many years and this is how discrepancies are handled.

If you end up casting a provisional ballot, please know that in order for your vote to be counted "within 6 days after the day of the election, (the voter) must provide the county board of elections with a copy of an acceptable form of Photo ID via mail, electronically (email, fax) or in person and an affirmation that the voter is the same person who cast the provisional ballot. The county board of elections will distribute copies of this (affirmation) form to the polling places." If you've got to cast a provisional ballot, ASK the judge of elections RIGHT AWAY for the affirmation form so that you have it on hand.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Ednahilda (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 01:25 PM

2. Yes, there has been some misinformation

To play it safe, it is best to have things clarified. However, the above post is correct - the standard is substantially conform.

In a worst case scenario, tea bagger pollwatchers may go into a Democratic precincts and try to give the poll workers a hard time if they are not too strict.

When it goes closer to the election, I am sure that we will be given contact information for a platoon of lawyers that can parachute down into any problem location. In 2008, there was a volunteer lawyer from New York standing outside every Democratic polling place in my town.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Ednahilda (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 03:07 PM

3. Name matching

Whenever we register voters in PA, we tell them to use the exact same name as on their driver's license.

I sign ALL of my legal documents the same way:

First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lugnut (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 09:36 PM

4. Although it seems likely that he would have been ok,

I did the same thing and changed my registration to be exactly the same as my driver's license. My motto is "better safe than sorry".

I got my new card in about 4 weeks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 01:46 AM

5. It probably would've been.

He didn't want to take a chance and neither did I. My driver's license had my full middle name but my voter registration had no entry for that or an initial. I filed a new registration form to make sure they were the same and I got a new ID that reflected that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread