What You Need to Know about the Pennsylvania Voter ID Law and May 21 Primary Election
- On February 19, Commonwealth Court extended an injunction that prevents the Pennsylvania Voter ID Law from being enforced during the May 21 primary election.
- The Secretary of the Commonwealth, who oversees Pennsylvania elections, has determined that those voting in person on May 21 will be asked, BUT WILL NOT BE REQUIRED, to show approved photo ID.
- Those voting in person at a new polling place or for the first time on May 21 will be required to show approved forms of ID (either photo or non-photo). This is a requirement of the federal Help America Vote Act passed in 2004.
- Those voting by absentee ballot in the May 21 primary election will be required to provide Pa. Driver’s License number, PennDOT ID number, last four digits of Social Security number, or a copy of an acceptable photo ID when applying for an absentee ballot.
New Federal and State laws provide voters with the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot under certain circumstances. County election officials will examine the provisional ballots within seven (7) days after an election to determine if the individual voting that ballot was entitled to vote at the election district in the election.
ARE YOU…Eligible to cast a provisional ballot?
Individuals are to be provided the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot if:
- The individual appears to vote and claims to be properly registered and eligible to vote in the election district, but the individual's name does not appear on the general register and elections officials cannot determine his registration.
- Regardless of whether the individual's name appears on the general register, the individual does not have an approved form of identification the first time he appears to vote in an election district.
- An election official asserts that the individual is not eligible to vote. (In a Primary Election this includes voters who claim to be registered for a particular political party, but the general register indicates they are registered as a member of another political party.)
Individuals are required to vote by provisional ballot if:
- The voter is voting as a result of a Federal or State court order.
- A voter is voting as a result of an order extending the time established for closing the polls by State law that is in effect ten (10) days before an election.
Within seven (7) days after the election, the county board of elections will examine the provisional ballot to determine the validity of your completed provisional ballot. A district election official will provide you with information for you to determine the status of your completed provisional ballot.
New Federal and State laws provide voters with the opportunity to file a complaint based on the belief that a State or local elections official or employee has violated, is violating, or is about to violate provisions of Title III of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (relating to uniform and nondiscriminatory election technology and administration requirements).
DO YOU…Believe election officials have failed to comply with Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002?
If you answered YES, then the information below will be helpful to you.
Potential circumstances for filing a complaint are listed below:
- An individual believes a State or local elections official or employee has violated the provisions of Title III that require a voter to provide an approved form of identification the first time he appears to vote.
- An individual is denied the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot.
- An individual believes a State or local elections official or employee has violated provisional ballot procedure.
- An individual believes information that is required by law to be posted in the polling place is incorrect, inaccessible or missing.
- An individual believes that the mail-in voter registration application form is incomplete or missing required information.
For more information, please see the Pennsylvania Department of State Notice relating to complaint procedures under section 402(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and section 1206.2 of the Pennsylvania Election Code. Also see the Statement of Complaint-Violations of Title III of the Help America Vote Act.
The Notice and Statement of Complaint are available at your polling place, the County Board of Elections, or at the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling 1-877-VOTES-PA (1-877-868-3772), or visit Help America Vote Act.