PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald was joined today by Dennis Biondo, Director of the John J. Kane Regional Centers, and Dr. Alex Johnson, President of the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), in an announcement that the Kane Regional Centers and CCAC will begin to issue photo identification for the purpose of voting.
“I firmly believe that anyone who wants to participate in our democracy through elections should have every opportunity to do so. That is what we are doing today,” said Fitzgerald. “Through our Kane Regional Centers and CCAC, we are going to provide the ability for people to get the photo identification that they need to cast their ballot this November.”
Act 18, which has been termed the Voter ID Act, provides that voters must show proof of identification in order to be allowed to cast a ballot. The identification must include a photo of the person (except in very limited circumstances), show a name that substantially conforms to the name on the voter rolls, include an expiration date and not be expired, and be issued by a delineated list of entities. That list includes a Pennsylvania care facility and an accredited Pennsylvania public or private institution of higher learning.
“CCAC is working with Allegheny County to provide these non-student IDs to county residents to ensure that they are fully able to exercise their right to vote this November,” said Johnson. “It is our hope that these measures will help to preserve access to this cornerstone of democracy.”
Although the Kane Regional Centers and CCAC are finalizing details of when and where these IDs will be offered, both organizations indicated that an individual seeking an ID will need to be registered to vote and must also show another form of identification. The acceptable forms are those that were allowable under prior state law as proof of identification for first time voters and include non-photo identification issued by the Commonwealth, non-photo identification issued by the United States government, a firearm permit, a current utility bill, a current bank statement, a paycheck or a government check. The identification issued by the Kane Regional Centers and CCAC will include a photo of the person, a name and an expiration date.
“I am hopeful that Commonwealth Court, given a second opportunity, will issue an injunction to allow registered voters to exercise their right this November without burdens. The prior system provides for people to identify themselves when they first go to vote, and as the Commonwealth has even stipulated, there is no evidence of that type of voter fraud occurring,” said Fitzgerald. “The Voter ID law puts additional hoops in place to make it difficult to vote. The restrictions are overly burdensome, particularly for seniors and people that don’t have the means to get the necessary documentation. While we wait for the Court’s decision, we are following the statute and are going to provide the ability for people to get photo IDs to vote.”