Voter rolls fall slightly in county
The slogan may be “Show It”, but you don’t have to.
The Pennsylvania Department of State is airing commercials using the state’s year-old “Show It” ad slogan campaign in anticipation of the Nov. 5 municipal elections, but the fate of the commonwealth’s voter identification law is still uncertain.
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley has suspended the requirement voters show identification at the polls while he reviews a challenge to the law’s constitutionality.
That leaves things in a state anyone who voted in the 2012 elections will be familiar with.
“They’re going to ask for ID,” Warren County Director of Elections Lisa Zuck said, “but you don’t have to show it.”
One caveat of McGinley’s injunction is a prohibition on poll workers telling voters they will need to show ID in the future.
“Since we don’t know when that’ll be decided,” Zuck said.
In light of the injunction, the ads are drawing some controversy. Despite the ads’ statements that voters will be asked, but not required, to show ID, some are asserting the campaign could sow confusion amongst potential voters.
In an Oct. 22 press release, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale questioned the expense of the ad campaign.
“With two weeks to go until the general election, I am flabbergasted that the department of state continues to waste $1 million to run television ads telling people to be prepared to present photo identification when they go to the polls Nov. 5, even though the court has ordered them not to implement the requirement,” DePasquale said in the release. “Instead of spending $1 million on a voter education problem that doesn’t exist, we should invest in making it easier for eligible voters to cast their ballot. I am surprised that during these times of very tight budgets for government at all levels, that anyone in the state would want to spend money on TV ads that foster confusion rather than provide clarity on the issue.”
Zuck summed up the current situation saying, “If you want to give it, fine. If you don’t, or don’t have it, you don’t have to show it.”
Those who do not show ID will be given a handout with information on the voter ID law and how to obtain an ID. It will not be the same handout given during the 2012 elections.
There is no date set for McGinley to issue a ruling on the voter ID law.
The Nov. 5 election will mark the fourth election or primary the law will not be enforced due to legal injunction.