Wednesday, October 03, 2012

New Voter ID and Voter Registration Information

An update to our August 7th post

A judge ruled this week that Pennsylvania state officials cannot enforce a new voter ID law for the upcoming Presidential election. Read full details on the judge’s decision here

Even with this ruling, there are still some important things you need to know:

In order to vote in any election, you must first be a registered voter.  In PA, you must be registered before October 9, 2012 for this general election in November.  You have the right to register where you live now, whether that is an on-campus address or off-campus location.  Or you may choose to register or remain registered and vote at your permanent home address.   Get information on registering in your home state here.  Please note that each state sets its own deadlines!

In Pennsylvania, you must be at least 18 years of age on November 6, 2012 and you must vote in the County you are registered in!

A list of local polling locations is available here. Go to for more information, or call 1-877-VOTESPA.

Absentee Ballot:
If you intend to vote by way of absentee ballot, you will need to be able to provide either the last 4 digits of your SS#, or your driver’s license/PennDOT ID # as proof of identification.   Please contact your local County office for additional information.   

The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is October 30, 2012.  The last day for County Elections to receive the absentee ballot is November 2, 2012. 


What if I have a problem at my voting location?  
Please ask to speak with the Judge of Elections who is always on site.

What is a provisional ballot?
A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there is some question regarding a voter’s eligibility.   You have a right to vote by provisional ballot if:
1) Even though you are properly registered and eligible to vote in the election district/location, your name does not appear in the poll book and the election officials cannot determine your registration status
2) An Election Official asserts that you are not eligible to vote

How do I know my provisional ballot is counted?
Within seven days after the election, the County Board of Elections will examine your provisional ballot to determine if it is valid.   After this seven-day period, you can find out if your provisional ballot was counted, partially counted, or not counted by calling 1-877-VOTESPA.

The Future of the Voter ID Law
While you will not need an ID for the November Presidential Election, you may need an ID for future elections.  It is not too early to start planning ahead.  Please read the following if you would like to know more about acceptable forms of ID in PA:

All Photo IDs must contain an expiration date that is current, unless noted otherwise:   A Pennsylvania driver’s license currently valid or expired less than 12 months
  •         An ID issued by PennDOT currently valid or expired less than 12 months
  •          A currently valid U.S. Passport.   Expired passports will not be accepted
  •          A currently valid CHC ID, issued by Chestnut Hill College containing a printed date on the front, bottom left, as the following example shows:

  •          A currently valid military dependent’s ID.  Expired ID will not be accepted
  •          A currently valid active duty or retired I.S. military ID, including the PA National Guard
  •          A currently valid employee ID issued by the Federal, PA. State or PA County or PA municipal government
  •          A currently valid ID issued by a PA Care facility 

If you DO NOT have any of the accepted forms of Photo ID as stated above and you are a currently enrolled Chestnut Hill College student, faculty or staff member, you can obtain a new ID (as shown above) by visiting Security on the Ground Floor of Fontbonne Hall.  Please note that free IDs will be issued to individuals who turn in their old ID.  However, free IDs cannot be given to anyone unable to surrender their old ID (this is for security purposes).
Please do not wait until the last minute to prepare for this election!

You may also obtain a FREE acceptable form of Photo ID at any PennDot Photo Licensing Center.  This ID will be valid for voting purposes only.  

Information reprinted from the Chestnut Hill College office of the Dean of Student Life

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