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Watchdog Group Says Voters Shouldn’t Use Absentee Ballots to Skirt ID Law

(Credit: Timothy McLaughlin)

(Credit: Timothy McLaughlin)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Play by the rules.  That’s the word from Philadelphia’s election watchdog group, The Committee of 70.

This advice comes in response to a suggestion that voters use absentee ballots this November to skirt Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law (see related story).

The Committee of 70 was responding to an idea put out by a Democratic city committeeman who suggested that senior citizens might want to use absentee ballots, whose ID requirements are less stringent, rather than go to the poll in person to vote.

Ellen Kaplan, the Committee’s policy director,  says absentee ballots should be only for those who truly are absent from the city on election day:

“We don’t think that the absentee ballot should be used as a way to work around the voter ID law,” she tells KYW Newsradio.  “They shouldn’t be suggesting it for people who are able to go to the polls.”

The ID requirement for an absentee ballot can be as little as putting down the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Kaplan points out that absentee ballots aren’t even counted until days after the election.