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Elections Officials Briefed By State On Voter ID

Since Pennsylvania's Voter ID law has cleared its first legal hurdle, the people  having to implement it are getting some formal direction from the state.   

This week county election officials from across the commonwealth are gathering at an annual conference in Centre County.   Department of State spokesman Ron Ruman says his agency will work with those who oversee the physical work of administering an election and explain how things will be different,  given the new photo ID requirement.

"We will be giving specific poll worker training and guidance for the county election officials at that time as well as mailing it to poll workers and certainly doing what we can to answer any questions election officials might have."

In court, election officials from  Allegheny County and Philadelphia voiced concern the voter ID law could cause long lines and confusion at the polls on November 6.

But Ruman says his office is confident election directors, judges of elections, and the poll workers at each precinct will be able to process voters efficiently  even with the new law.

Ruman says starting next week, the state's voter ID card will be available at PennDOT licensing centers.

"This will be an ID for voting purposes only, it will clearly state that," Ruman said.   "It will be good for ten years.  And basically, it will be available for folks that will sign an affirmation that they cannot get the documents they need to obtain a PennDOT ID.They still will need to provide their Social Security number and two proofs of residence and have their voter registration verified, which can be done electronically at PennDOT."

Janet Dolan, with PennDOT, says the agency's web site allows people to find the closest licensing center by typing in their zip code.

"Depending on where you live in that county, and the zip code, they‚re going to tell you which center in the next county is the closest to you."

However, nine counties do not have PennDOT centers.