Voter ID: Does 'Common Sense' Really Rule?

Not really ready for prime time.

The training for election officials is being scheduled now and it looks like it will be in October. It is probably a good idea to wait, since the Department of State keeps fine tuning the requirements.

I do have several questions I really would like answered now. I did get one question answered on Radio Times when I asked Ronald G. Ruman, Director, Office of Communications and Press, how substantially conforming the name on the ID had to be. He said that nicknames, missing middle initials and hyphenated names were okay, if there were any questions to go to the judge of elections and to use my common sense. 

I didn't get the chance to ask my follow up question: If I use common sense, then when someone I know come to the polls who has been legally voting there for many years, their signature matches and they don't have ID, common sense would tell me they are who they say and should be allowed to vote. But, if I do that I could face a $10,000 fine and a year in prison. If common sense had anything to do with this law, then it would have addressed the real, though rare, areas of voter fraud, absentee ballots and voter registration which this law does not. It has changed the game midstream for thousands of people who have been legally voting for years. 

This answer also shows how much discretion the voting officials (me included) have and how important it will be to have people from both parties at each and every polling place. 

If you are from one party and you are live in a district that is primarily the other party, there is now the possibility that you might be given a provisional ballot if your name does not match perfectly and you would have to go to the county seat to have your vote count. The way to make sure this does not happen is to make sure that the majority and minority inspectors are both there on election day, since they have to be from different political parties. 

Call your committee person to find out.  Volunteer to work at the polls because they are really going to need the help and it will keep it honest.  This law could really open the door to political shenanigans if we are not careful.

I will answer any questions about getting the Voter ID in the comments. 

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Adrian Seltzer August 29, 2012 at 04:15 AM
I have talked to the Dept of State and PennDOT officials about Voter ID. The committee of 70 talked to them and got different information. How are we to help people get ID when the people in charge can't agree on how to do it?
Adrian Seltzer September 03, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Rep. Metcalfe, who introduced this law, says,”The only people who will be disenfranchised by our new commonsense voter photo ID law are those individuals who are trying to corrupt the voting process through election fraud.” Tell your story when you sign my petition. Share it with everyone you know. The more signatures the greater the impact.. We’ll show him he’s wrong when I personally deliver this petition to him on September 20th. http://signon.org/sign/postpone-pa-voter-id


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