PA counties misinforming voters about photo ID law

From Jerry Policoff:

Below is a copy of the e-mail I sent Rachel Maddow as a follow-up to her story on how at least 2 PA counties continue to misinform their voters about the voter ID law (telling them that photo ID is required in order to vote).

I checked all 67 county websites, and discovered that this is far more widespread. Is it even remotely conceivable that all of these counties were just absent-minded and simply forgot to update their sites after Judge Simpson, on the morning of October 2nd, deferred enforcement of the law until next year?

I am not including the screen captures here, but if you want to see them let me know. (I did send them to Maddow).

I had sent Maddow some information yesterday as well, but this update is much more complete.

From: Jerry Policoff
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2012 3:59 PM
Subject: Follow-up: How each county is handling Pa. voter ID law on their web sites including screen captures (as of 10/7/12)
Importance: High


Attached is a summary of how Pa. counties are handling the voter ID laws on their web sites including screen captures as of this morning.

  • 36 sites contain no information at all about the Voter ID Law
  • 12 correctly inform voters that ID will be requested but not required to vote
  • 19 incorrectly state that voter ID will be required in order to vote this November.

As background, Judge Simpson issued his revised ruling deferring enforcement of the law on October 2nd, though the counties should have anticipated and prepared for this as the Supreme Court had made it clear that if Simpson did not order enforcement deferred, they would. My own Lancaster County only corrected their site yesterday after being bombarded by complaints from Democratic County officials.

County offices are closed Monday due to Columbus Day and Tuesday is the deadline for new voters to register so lack of information or incorrect information can conceivably have an adverse impact on new registrations.

Pennsylvania law requires that voters voting by absentee ballot have a legitimate reason for being unable to vote at their polling place. At least in Lancaster County the GOP sent out a glossy mailer to Republicans that included an absentee ballot application, but did not warn that they must have a valid reason for voting by absentee ballot.

I do hope you will do a follow-up to your excellent Friday evening story.


Jerry Policoff


How Voter ID Law is referenced on Philadelphia County web sites (as of 10-7-12) [PDF]

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