Election Officials Using Primary As Dry-Run For Voter ID Law
By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There are no citywide races in Philadelphia, and low turnout in the city for statewide races is expected.
The controversial new voter ID law does not take effect until the November general election, but city officials are using today’s primary as a run through of sorts.
Philadelphia Elections Commissioner Stephanie Singer reminds voters that they are not required to present ID today, unless like in years past they are voting for the first time at a particular poll.
“Everyone should know that the rules are the same as they always have been. If it’s your first time voting at a polling place — a utility bill, your voter registration cards. And if you voted at your polling place, you don’t need any ID, you just need to sign your name.”
But, the law requiring that everyone present ID takes effect in November, so Singer expects questions about it today. “There may well be confusion. The law was passed in the middle of March, and it was a very, very short time frame to educate the public and the poll workers.”
In fact, poll workers today are being told to ask for ID as a run-through, and to educate voters about the change six months out.
“They are going to ask people for ID, but people do not need the ID in order to vote. This is a dry run, a soft rollout.”
The dry run, Singer says, will also be an opportunity for residents to make sure the ID they have will meet the muster of poll officials in November.
If you have problems voting in Philadelphia, you can call the Commissioner’s Office at 215-686-3461. Or you can call the Committee of Seventy watchdog group at 866-OUR-VOTE.