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Philadelphia Latino Leader Irate Over Pa. Billboards He Says Are Misleading

(Former Philadelphia councilman Juan Ramos holds an image of a billboard that he says the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has purchased with the intent of confusing Hispanic voters.  Credit: Mike Dunn)

(Former Philadelphia councilman Juan Ramos holds an image of a billboard that he says the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has purchased with the intent of confusing Hispanic voters. Credit: Mike Dunn)

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) — A series of billboards posted in predominately Latino neighborhoods of Philadelphia is now the focal point of the latest Voter ID controversy.

“Take those signs down — take ‘em down!” said former city councilman Juan Ramos today, now with the Delaware Valley Voter Registration Education Project, a group that focuses on boosting registration in Philadelphia’s Hispanic communities.

Ramos is furious over what he says are ten billboards posted during the past week by the Pennsylvania Department of State.  He says the billboards show a photo of driver’s license and, in Spanish, “If you have it, show it.”

Ramos believes this will only confuse Latino voters.

“I think this is very deceptive!  I think this is a very slick attempt by the state government to carry out voter suppression,” he said today.

Pennsylvania Department of Commonwealth spokesman Ron Ruman says the billboards are part of the order from the Commonwealth Court judge to educate voters that they will be asked for ID, even if it is not yet required.

“We are following the judge’s direction and continuing that education program, to tell people that they will be asked on November 6th, and in future elections it will be required to have a photo ID,” Ruman tells KYW Newsradio.

And Rumen says there are no plans to remove the billboards.

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