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Philadelphia Avoiding Use Of Loophole In State’s Voter ID Law

(Credit: Ed Fischer)

(Credit: Ed Fischer)

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) — Philadelphia officials say they’re not going to use a loophole in the state’s controversial voter ID law, despite plans by Montgomery and Allegheny counties to do precisely that.

The voter ID law provides for PennDOT issued IDs, but a loophole would allow nursing homes and colleges to issue IDs even to those who are not residents or enrolled there.

Montgomery County commissioners plan to use a nursing home for this, and officials in the western county of Allegheny are doing so as well. But Brian Abernathy, chief of staff to the Philadelphia Managing Director, says this city will not.

“It’s unclear whether these IDs are going to be acceptable forms of identification for voting,” Abernathy says. “And with questions still surrounding the proposal, we believe it’s a more prudent course of action to spend our limited resources on the surest course of action, which is to help every voter obtain a recognized ID,” Abernathy said.

The Pennsylvania Department of State says the use of nursing home or college IDs violates the spirit of the voter ID law, and creates safety issues.

Spokesman Ron Rumen says these IDs could be misused.

“If one is able to get an ID for a college or a care facility, even if the ID might say ‘For Voting Purposes Only,’ that raises the real possibility that these people will get access to buildings and areas that they shouldn’t have access to,” he says.

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