Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(25,986 posts)
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 07:43 PM Sep 2012



Posted: Sat, Sep. 22, 2012, 3:01 AM
Other counties may join in using Pennsylvania voter-ID law loophole

By Jeremy Roebuck, Angela Couloumbis, and Jessica Parks
Inquirer Staff Writers

A voter-ID mutiny launched by Democratic-controlled Montgomery and Allegheny Counties showed signs of spreading across the state Friday, as Philadelphia and a handful of other local governments said they, too, would consider issuing poll-ready identification cards through county-run nursing homes and colleges.

Despite the bitter partisan debate surrounding the controversial Pennsylvania law, state Republicans voiced little opposition Friday to the counties' new plans.

"I don't think anyone contemplated the possibility of a county nursing home becoming an issuer of an identification document that could be used to satisfy the voter-ID requirement," said Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware), a key force in enacting the law last March. But he added, "I am not against the principle of other entities having the ability to issue cards, as long as we have uniform standards and safeguards in place."

On Thursday, Allegheny and Montgomery Counties said they would begin issuing their own ID cards through county-run facilities.

The move exploits a loophole in the new law that allows both colleges and senior-care centers to provide such cards to anyone who lives in the county - not just to the people who attend those colleges or reside in those centers.
The counties' officials explained their decisions by citing complaints from residents who had run into trouble obtaining the required photo ID through the state's preferred route, the Department of Transportation.


More at the link....
49 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
THIS A GIANT FUCKING DEAL!!!!!! Re: PA Voter ID (Original Post) PCIntern Sep 2012 OP
WIN!!! MadrasT Sep 2012 #1
HUGE KICK Hutzpa Sep 2012 #2
. n/t porphyrian Sep 2012 #3
I spent today with people worried that a different name on their ID might cost a vote Patiod Sep 2012 #4
Thank you for the big time donation of your energy and truedelphi Sep 2012 #45
Rich Fitzgerald (Allegheny County Executive) has been talking about this for a couple of days. blue neen Sep 2012 #5
I LUV IT, TOO, Cha Sep 2012 #34
fookin' K & fookin' R spanone Sep 2012 #6
Spam deleted by DURHAM D (MIR Team) HenryBasil Sep 2012 #7
douche. "we've all seen the godfather". Yeah, we've all seen Wall Street too pasto76 Sep 2012 #8
Go fuck yourself. How's that? nt Guy Whitey Corngood Sep 2012 #9
WTF DemKittyNC Sep 2012 #10
you again... spanone Sep 2012 #11
Wahington Times? surrealAmerican Sep 2012 #13
The Washington Times is not a reputable paper. It is a propaganda alfredo Sep 2012 #14
VOTER ID BOOTHS.... DearAbby Sep 2012 #12
You make it sound like Utopia. Love it!!! n/t vaberella Sep 2012 #18
Uh, no, it's called a Democracy. It's a popular meme. cr8tvlde Sep 2012 #20
Don't get too excited. Ms. Toad Sep 2012 #15
Many people can't get to the DOT... PCIntern Sep 2012 #16
The bigger issue, in terms of suppression, Ms. Toad Sep 2012 #24
Thank you for your post truedelphi Sep 2012 #46
Thanks for sharing your story. Ms. Toad Sep 2012 #48
It is a big deal. MadrasT Sep 2012 #26
Now I'll have to go spend some time in the code Ms. Toad Sep 2012 #29
Interesting - Ms. Toad Sep 2012 #33
shot selves in foot MadrasT Sep 2012 #35
Montco PA County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, who is spear-heading this effort BumRushDaShow Sep 2012 #39
K&R defacto7 Sep 2012 #17
Heard this on the radio today BumRushDaShow Sep 2012 #19
I would get excited but glinda Sep 2012 #21
I can't for the life of me figure out why so many nursing homes liberalhistorian Sep 2012 #32
That's great, but that's not a mutiny. That is abiding by the new law. nt Honeycombe8 Sep 2012 #22
K & R AzDar Sep 2012 #23
I just can't see Philadelphia ward leaders taking this law seriously. Barack_America Sep 2012 #25
Finally a loophole that works in our favor. rucky Sep 2012 #27
You know who is gonna get fucked? jberryhill Sep 2012 #28
I love when this happens. Mutiny. But what I worry about Curmudgeoness Sep 2012 #30
Wow, that is a big fuck you to the Republicans davidpdx Sep 2012 #31
I do phone bank calling for President Obama in western PA. maddiemom Sep 2012 #36
I have a copy of the Pennsylvania "Poll Worker Guide" Ednahilda Sep 2012 #43
Thanks. Appreciate the information. maddiemom Sep 2012 #49
Just get the frigging ID's. It's a bit of a pain, but just do it and VOTE. RBInMaine Sep 2012 #37
It's not a "bit of a pain"... PCIntern Sep 2012 #38
Cool, very very cool. 99Forever Sep 2012 #40
I got a "Voter Requirements" postcard from the state on Saturday BumRushDaShow Sep 2012 #41
Those fuckers.. PCIntern Sep 2012 #42
Congratulations Montgomery and Allegheny Counties! I hope every other county in PA follows! Walk away Sep 2012 #44
Good for Rich Fitzgerald! femmocrat Sep 2012 #47


(11,816 posts)
4. I spent today with people worried that a different name on their ID might cost a vote
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 07:55 PM
Sep 2012

Seriously - was going door to door checking to see that people had voter registration, correct ID and absentee ballots.

Went door to door, and talked to people like "Fred M Smith" who was concerned that someone might challenge him b/c his voter registration had "Fred Smith" but his passport had "Frederick Morton Smith".

I shit you not.

I weep for this country.


(32,324 posts)
45. Thank you for the big time donation of your energy and
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 04:31 PM
Sep 2012

Time. Glad people back there are making a difference.

blue neen

(12,373 posts)
5. Rich Fitzgerald (Allegheny County Executive) has been talking about this for a couple of days.
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 07:56 PM
Sep 2012

I LUV it!

Response to PCIntern (Original post)


(1,589 posts)
8. douche. "we've all seen the godfather". Yeah, we've all seen Wall Street too
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 08:02 PM
Sep 2012

by that logic, every allegation is true.


(60,114 posts)
14. The Washington Times is not a reputable paper. It is a propaganda
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 08:12 PM
Sep 2012

outlet for the Moonies and the GOP.

Ms. Toad

(34,860 posts)
15. Don't get too excited.
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 08:15 PM
Sep 2012

The biggest barrier to obtaining an ID is not getting to the places that issues them, but proving you are entitled to have one.

Adding more locations does not change what is required to get one: "If people are having trouble getting those IDs and have the proper credentials, we're happy to provide them."

While this is good news, I can also see it benefiting the proponents of Voter ID laws. Many of those arguing in favor of requiring photo ID cards do not understand that you cannot get an ID card without documentation that many elderly, women, and minorities don't have. Giving them more places which will deny then an ID does not solve that core problem - it just means there are more places to turn them down. That will make it even harder to convince those promoting voter ID that it really is a discriminatory barrier to voting.

Ms. Toad

(34,860 posts)
24. The bigger issue, in terms of suppression,
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 09:10 PM
Sep 2012

is that once they get there (or to the college or the nursing home) they still have to have the proper credentials to be granted the ID card.

And your response is exactly why I am concerned that this small step forward may make it harder to succeed in the long term. The popular perception of people who have never been connected with ID issuance (or age/marital status for Social Security eligibility) is that if you offer free cards, and make it possible to get to a place that issues an ID card that eliminates the barriers. The reality is that is just the tip of a much larger iceberg. An ID can only be issued if you can establish who you are - and if you don't have an ID to start with, it is pretty hard to establish who you are.

Minorities, elderly, poor, and women often do not have (and many cannot obtain) for example the birth certificate (or other proof of birth) needed to be issued an ID. Women, in particular, often change their names. They will need not only a birth certificate (which they may not have) but a document which links the old name with the new one (a marriage license or divorce decree).

Elderly people, born at home, for example may not have been issued a birth certificate at the time. Depending on their life circumstances, they may never have needed one. To obtain a delayed birth certificate, you need back-up records (baptismal certificates are the most common back-up documentation. The is a barrier for people not involved in a church - or who attended a church that was burned down in racially motivated attacks in the 60s. The final back-up is often someone older than you who can attest to your birth - and if the reason you are in this bind is that you are elderly, chances are you may not have anyone older who can vouch for you.

So yes, making more locations to obtain an ID is helpful, where ability to get to the ID place is the barrier. For far too many people it is only the first of many barriers. Most people (on either side of the fence) don't have the experience dealing with the population without ID documentation to understand that getting to the ID place is minor compared to the rest of the barriers frequently encountered in the targeted population.

As for a rule relaxation - everything I have read since this first hit the news indicates that there is no relaxation about the documentation required to obtain an ID. Here is what is needed: http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/voter/voteridlaw.shtml (Social Security Cards are required - and particularly elderly women many never have registered with the Social Security system. No discussion as to what happens if you never had a birth certificate, or you were born in another state - PA birth certificates can be verified by the issuing agency, but if you were born elsewhere, the cost will be out of pocket.)


(32,324 posts)
46. Thank you for your post
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 04:39 PM
Sep 2012

In my household, where both of us are white, and therefore wouldn't expect discrimination - I cannot use two local mega-video rental places. Both want a driver's license with photo and one other photo ID. In our society, it is assumed everyone works somewhere big enough to have a Work ID issued with the photo. Or else as the big bucks to shell out for a passport.

Luckily in California all you need is the driver's license to vote, as far as I know.

But about ten years ago, some one auditing the records at the County of Marin discovered my spouse had never shown anyone at HR his birth certificate.

He was given six weeks to get one. I thought that was generous - how hard could it be for someone born in the USA to get their certificate? But apparently he had never been issued one - in some places in Utah, the Mormon Church handles this aspect of life.

Finally an agency or group named Social Records in Salt Lake City said they could offer up the birth certificate - for $ 100 bucks. It took us five and a half weeks to get it done. (I consider that group to be mercenary!)

Also,it wouldn't have happened if we hadn't had a posse of his relatives in Utah helping us.
M was very close to losing a very good job over this issue.


(7,237 posts)
26. It is a big deal.
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 09:11 PM
Sep 2012

The requirements to get the nursing home and college IDs are much less stringent than the state's requirements. You don't need as many credentials as you do to get the ID issued by the state. There are threads in the PA group with links to other articles with more details.

Ms. Toad

(34,860 posts)
29. Now I'll have to go spend some time in the code
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 10:01 PM
Sep 2012

The photo ID requirements in the code are pretty strict - with the possible exception of student IDs.

Everything else would require at least passport (alone) or birth certificate/social security card + one additional formal identifying document (these are required for the I-9 certification required of every employee). I don't recall if there are equivalent formal requirements for student enrollment.

It is curious that, on first glance, there appear to be alternatives for non-photo ID (including a utility bill). My understanding (without having read the code) was that the basis of the case was that photo IDs were required - so something is obviously missing. Ohio has had a photo-ID or utility bill requirement for years, which is obnoxious, but does not match with the level of outrageous there is about Pennsylvania. Guess I have some research to do.

Ms. Toad

(34,860 posts)
33. Interesting -
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 10:32 PM
Sep 2012

I've now plowed through most of the bill that created the law.

Colleges and nursing homes were written with an interesting difference from the other ID requirements. For example, a municipal ID card is only valid if issued by "A municipality of this Commonwealth to an employee of that municipality." Neither schools nor long term care facilities have a statutory restriction limiting them to students, faculty, and alumni (on the one hand) or residents or employees (on the other hand).

As I noted in an earlier post, everything short of school IDs for students still require the kind of documentation that many elderly people don't have. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The intent was clearly to limit the population eligible for these exceptions to government issued IDs to the natural population for those entities - but they may well have shot themselves in the foot by failing to write the restriction into the authorizing clause - and writing restrictions into others. The general legal presumption is that if you have demonstrated you know how to limit breadth in one clause, and fail to do so in a related clause, the failure to restrict is deliberate.

I haven't checked to see if there are statutory limits (unrelated to voting laws) on the issuance of ID cards (either to whom - or what ID is required).


(7,237 posts)
35. shot selves in foot
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 08:20 AM
Sep 2012
but they may well have shot themselves in the foot by failing to write the restriction into the authorizing clause



(134,287 posts)
39. Montco PA County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, who is spear-heading this effort
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 10:45 AM
Sep 2012

to work around this voter suppression law, is a lawyer. Enough said.

By ANY means necessary.


(14,807 posts)
21. I would get excited but
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 08:43 PM
Sep 2012

I know for instance in northern MN, the Nursing Homes would push elderly to vote republican, hoping they wouldn't know what they were doing. But if others can get IDs there than good but still there should not be an ID things since it is all geared towards suppressing the votes period.


(20,833 posts)
32. I can't for the life of me figure out why so many nursing homes
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 10:31 PM
Sep 2012

are like that, including the one my stepfather is in. If it weren't for Medicaid and Medicare, most nursing homes simply would NOT be able to survive. Republicans and their policies are one of the greatest threats to those two programs.


(28,876 posts)
25. I just can't see Philadelphia ward leaders taking this law seriously.
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 09:10 PM
Sep 2012

Especially with these loopholes. You're going to tell these people, and their subordinates, who have personally known residents for years (and often generations) that people need to show IDs to prove who they are? Right. And these cute little Republican poll watchers will be politely sat in the corner where they can't see shit, just like always.



(62,444 posts)
28. You know who is gonna get fucked?
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 09:40 PM
Sep 2012

Philly, Delaware and Chester counties will come along if Montco is doing this.

The people who are going to get screwed are the ones in Pennsyltucky.


(18,219 posts)
30. I love when this happens. Mutiny. But what I worry about
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 10:13 PM
Sep 2012

is the people who might show up at the polls without knowing that they needed to get a photo ID at all. These people will not have the opportunity to go through any channels, DOT or the loophole.


(22,000 posts)
31. Wow, that is a big fuck you to the Republicans
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 10:19 PM
Sep 2012

I'd like to see counties in other states try the same tactic. It might alleviate some of the attempts at voter repression


(5,106 posts)
36. I do phone bank calling for President Obama in western PA.
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 08:53 AM
Sep 2012

We have to remind everyone about photo ID. I can definitely vouch for the fact that voters, whether for Obama or Romney, are REALLY pissed off about this. What do you say to a 75 year old voter who's voted in the same place for more than fifty years and is checking in with his neighbor and has to prove his identity? Rumors are flying that if there is any discrepancy between your driver's license and voter registration (such as a middle initial and full middle name) you can be turned away. Even those who are registering voters are confused.


(195 posts)
43. I have a copy of the Pennsylvania "Poll Worker Guide"
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 12:25 PM
Sep 2012

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.

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.


(25,986 posts)
38. It's not a "bit of a pain"...
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 10:31 AM
Sep 2012

It is not easy for many to get to the photo id centers. This will help considerably. I'm sure things are easier in Maine than they are here.


(134,287 posts)
41. I got a "Voter Requirements" postcard from the state on Saturday
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 10:59 AM
Sep 2012

as did the rest of my family.

I heard a report on the radio yesterday that the state had set aside $1,000,000 of its (my) funds for this voter suppression law for the cards and the report noted that the cards "cost $13.50 a pop". And supposedly only about $130,000 had been spent so far for about 10,000 cards issued.


Meaning the HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of thousands of those who still would need cards, have NOT received them yet. And the funky calculation showing them using HAVA federal government-sourced $$$ to stuff the pockets of rethug advertising agencies for so-called "outreach" (beyond training poll workers), is enough to make me sick because that $$$ is supposed to be used for expanding voting rather than bolstering voter suppression.

Walk away

(9,494 posts)
44. Congratulations Montgomery and Allegheny Counties! I hope every other county in PA follows!
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 02:19 PM
Sep 2012

Every American has the right to vote despite what the Republican party believes.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»THIS A GIANT FUCKING DEAL...