By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania voters do not have to present a photo ID to vote next month, but Peco customers and city retirees recently received the wrong information in the mail.

The mailings were well-intentioned but may have created further confusion in the tight presidential race in Pennsylvania.

The voters who challenged Pennsylvania’s photo ID law were worried that state officials who defended the law might continue to push photo IDs and thereby discourage voters who don’t have them.

(A manual instructing poll workers to demand proper photo ID was mailed out by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania before a judge ruled to delay the law’s implementation beyond the 2012 elections. File photo by Ed Fischer)


But the state ads have been clear.  The confusion has come from unexpected sources.

“We had to take a calculated risk, and more information is better than no information,” says Brian Abernathy of the Philadelphia managing director’s office.

He explains that the city decided, before a judge ruled to delay the law’s implementation (see related story), to include information about the requirement in a Board of Pensions mailing.

He says the city has gotten a couple of dozen calls from retirees about the misleading pamphlet and has set them straight.

Peco made a similar decision in a mailing to its 1.3 million customers. Spokesman Ben Armstrong says they are trying to correct the information with messages on their web site.

“We also have active crown light messages that are appearing each night (atop the Peco headquarters building).  It’s important information, and we want to get it out to our customers,” he tells KYW Newsradio.