Government
7:03 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Pennsylvania Readies for Primary

Monday is the final day for Pennsylvanians to register to vote for the primary election. On April 24th voters can cast ballots for president, U.S. Senate, U.S. Representatives, state attorney general, auditor general, treasurer, state legislators, and delegates to Republican and Democratic national conventions.

Voters in the primary will be asked to show a photo ID, but it will only be required of first time voters. A voter ID will be required when voting in this November's general election.

Pennsylvania Department of State spokesman Ron Ruman said the primary will be a dry run for poll workers and voters before the general election. He said they've been putting together an education program about the new voter ID law.

"We do have information on the VotesPA.com website. That does list the types of IDs that are acceptable, and where folks can find out more information or find out where their nearest PennDOT photo license center is to get one," said Ruman. "And those will be provided, if they are going to be used for voting purposes, for free."

Applications from Pennsylvanians who have changed their address, are changing party affiliation, or registering for the first time must be postmarked or delivered to the county board of elections by the close of business (5 p.m.) on March 24th. The Allegheny County Division of Elections is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Individuals applying to register to vote must:

·Be a U.S. citizen for at least a month before the primary

·Be a Pennsylvania resident for 30 days prior to the primary

·Be at least 18 years of age

Ruman said they haven't hit any voter ID-related problems yet.

"In a few cases we've got calls from folks who may not have one or are looking for information about how to get one," said Ruman. "And I think the good thing is we've got several months now till they're required in November, so there should be ample time for people to get an ID, if they don't have one."

Pennsylvania voters must be registered in a major political party to vote in the primary. Ruman said all registered voters are entitled to vote in special elections for empty state House seats. He said there will be 6 held at the same time as a primary including the 22nd House district, in Allegheny County.