Pennsylvania's primary election on April 24 will act as a "soft rollout" for the new voter identification bill signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett.
Residents who want to vote in the primary and who are not able to provide photographic identification can still vote, but they will be leaving with a slip of paper reminding them of what identification is acceptable and how it can be obtained for the general election in November, courtesy of the Department of State.
Warren County Director of Elections Lisa Zuck said the same notification will be posted at polling sites throughout the county and has already been distributed to voters registering at the courthouse.
The message is clear - all voters will be required to show identification in November.
Zuck is moving ahead with a completed ballot and hopes to have absentee ballots mailed out by the end of the week.
Voters in November who don't bring ID to the polls can vote on a provisional paper ballot and will have to return a copy of their identification with an affirmation to the courthouse within six days for their ballots to count. The affirmation and copy of the ID may be returned in person, mail, fax or email.
As noted in the voter identification bill fiscal note, the Department of State is required to conduct a voter education or outreach campaign. Zuck said that may consist of robo calls and mass mailings over the summer.
Absentee ballots will not change for the primary, but for the general election in November, absentee ballot voters will have to include a driver's license number, the last four digits of their Social Security number, or a copy of a photo ID when applying for an absentee ballot. Voters may provide identifying number to the county over the phone, by email or mail.
Identification must be verified by the county before the ballot is counted and voters will have six days following the election to provide identification as well.
Zuck recommends voters come to the polls in November prepared, with their identification ready.
"Everybody's has to show it," she said. "No exceptions."
Identification accepted at polling places for the Nov. 6 general election will have to contain the voter's name, photograph and expiration date.
Types of ID that meets the requirements, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State include:
Pennsylvania driver's license, if expired, not by more than 12 months.
PennDOT photo ID card, if expired, not by more than 12 months.
U.S. passport/card or Department of Homeland Security "Trusted Traveler" card (NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST).
U.S. military ID including active duty, retired military and their dependents and DoD civilians.
ID card from an accredited public or private college or university.
ID card issued by a Pennsylvania care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences or personal care homes.
Employee photo ID issued by federal, state, county or municipal government bodies.
How to obtain an acceptable ID
As long as you don't have one of the acceptable forms of ID, PennDOT will provide the $13.50 ID card for free if you provide the required documentation.
In order to receive the free voter ID card, residents will have to visit a PennDOT Driver License Center with a completed application for an Initial Photo Identification Card; form DL-54A, a Social Security card and either a certificate of U.S. citizenship, certification of naturalization, a valid U.S. passport or a birth certificate with a raised seal.
Applicants will also have to provide in addition, two proofs of "residency such as lease agreements, current utility bills, mortgage documents, W-2 form, or tax records," according to PennDOT.
Students who are at least 18 years old may provide accepted proofs of residency in the form of room assignment paperwork, which is considered a lease, and one bill with their dorm room address on it, including bank statements, paystubs and credit card bills.
"Other individuals who may not have any bills, leases or mortgage documents in their name may bring the person with whom they are living along with their Driver's License or Photo ID to a driver license center as one proof of residence," according to PennDOT.
At PennDOT, voters will have to sign an affirmation or oath that they don't possess proof of identification that is punishable by a $1,000 fine and or two years of imprisonment.
For more information, call Department of State's voter ID hotline at 1-877-VotesPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit www.votespa.com.