Allegheny County will provide residents with valid photo identification now required to vote under state law.
As the court battle continues over Pennsylvania's new voter ID law, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced Thursday that the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) and the Kane Regional Centers will distribute photo IDs to registered voters in Allegheny County.
Fitzgerald said the program will begin early next week. In order to get an ID, an Allegheny County resident must be registered to vote and also provide another form of non-photo identification, such as a utility bill, bank statement, or paycheck.
"The state identified, I think it was 98,000 residents of Allegheny County who would not be eligible to vote, because their PennDOT ID or their ID did not necessarily match what was on the voter rolls," said Fitzgerald. He said the community college campuses and Kane nursing homes are widespread enough to provide all 98,000 with IDs.
The county executive said the administration is using every avenue possible to supply residents with voter identification.
"State law only gives us [authority] for health care facilities or basically colleges, accredited institutions of higher learning," said Fitzgerald. "For example, our parks department could not do it, or the jail could not do it, or the courts could not do it."
He said the program's cost will depend on how many people show up to get a new voter ID card over the coming weeks. The IDs will be distributed at CCAC and Kane campuses by both volunteers and paid county staffers.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tuesday vacated Commonwealth Court's August ruling to deny an injunction to block the Voter ID law. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson will reexamine the the injunction request next Tuesday. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) is suing the state over the law's constitutionality.