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Pennsylvania a Hotbed of Voter and Poll Worker Confusion

November 6, 2012   ·   Election Protection

The 866-OUR-VOTE team is receiving multiple reports of voter confusion and incorrect poll worker instructions centered on Pennsylvania 's convoluted voter identification policies.

Pennsylvania's photo ID law was temporarily blocked for the November general elections. Accordingly, most voters may still cast a regular ballot even if they don't have a photo ID.  Only first time voters or voters who have not previously voted in their election district are required to present identification with the voter's name and address on it in order to vote.

The confusion has led to multiple reports of poll workers insisting on IDs for individuals who are not in fact required to have a regular ballot to cast a regular ballot, instances of individuals standing in the front doors and outside of polling places telling people that a photo ID is required, and reports of official signs in polling places asking for ID.

The 866-OUR-VOTE team is following up on these and thousands of other calls its hotline has received today.  For example, a caller from Allegheny County reported that some people were told they could only submit provisional ballots if they did not have a photo ID even if they had previously voted at that same polling place in the past.  Another caller reported that a polling place in New Castle has affixed "Voting ID required" signs at the registration table and all poll workers are demanding voter IDs for all voters. The caller and other nearby voters have voted in this polling place for years.

In Chester County, a caller reported that polling officials at the Catherine School annex were not allowing voters the right to vote without identification. And in Reading, a caller reported that a friend was told this morning at her polling place (Goodwin Fire Company) that all voters without photo ID have to vote on provisional ballots.