In the wake of a court ruling that Pennsylvania citizens do not need photo identification to cast a ballot, state-sponsored billboards and ads are providing the misimpression such IDs are still required. A Spanish-language billboard highlighted by Bloomberg reads, “Si Quieres Votar Muéstrala,” meaning, “if you want to vote, show it,” and features a photo of a woman holding up her driver’s license:
Television ads highlighting the state’s mostly-invalidated voter ID law also aired as recently as October 6.
The Pennsylvania trial court largely suspended Pennsylvania’s new photo ID law Oct. 2, and held that while voters may be asked to show their ID, even those who do not have ID can cast a regular ballot on Nov. 6. The ruling should ensure that, in theory, lack of photo ID will not prevent those who attempt to vote from casting a ballot. But these ads, likely left over from before the court’s order, provide misinformation that may deter many of those without ID from ever making it to the polls.
Adding to the confusion, five Pennsylvania counties had as recently as October 9 still indicated on their websites that photo ID was required (all of the web pages have since been removed).