In spite of a court ruling that photo ID is not required to vote in Pennsylvania this election cycle, new reports are emerging of rampant misinformation about the law.
The October 2 ruling said that poll-workers can ask for photo ID, but cannot turn people away because they do not have it. The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that numerous polling sites are handing out information stating that photo ID is required and that poll workers are falsely stating ID is required to vote. In addition, two mailers were reportedly sent out this week that provide the same misinformation. Residents in Harrisburg, Pa. received this mailer:
The Pennsylvania Department of State produced the mailer, and it was sent out in September before the court largely blocked the state’s voter suppression law. But state department spokesman Ron Ruman said his department did not send out the bogus mailer that Harrisburg voters are receiving now. “These mailings all were sent between Sept. 17 and 24″,” Ruman told philly.com. “We are looking into this, but the Department of State did not send these cards at this time.” and said that poll-workers can ask for photo ID, but cannot turn people away because they do not have it
BoldProgressives.org is reporting that others in Pennsylvania received this mailer:
The state has been slow to correct misinformation about the law since the court blocked the voter ID requirement. But in addition to lingering advertisements that were not removed from before the ruling, the state issued newly “corrected” ads that feature an image of a photo ID with the tiny words “This election day, if you have it,” followed by the huge and capitalized phrase “Show it.” A judge declined to block these ads.
Also today in Allegheny County, a judge issued an order to halt electioneering by Republicans who were stopping people outside a polling location and asking them for identification. This activity outside the polls would be illegal regardless of the state’s photo ID law, but the “chilling effect” on voting cited by the judge is particularly significant because their activities wrongly suggest that ID is required to vote.