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Pa. billboards suggest voters need IDs

Oct. 23, 2012 at 3:39 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Although a judge ruled Pennsylvania voters do not need identification to vote, billboards suggest otherwise, a former Philadelphia council member says.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson ruled this month that election officials can ask for identification on Election Day although voters are allowed to vote without it. Ten billboards installed through largely Hispanic communities in Philadelphia, however, show a woman holding her driver's license, the caption reading, "Esta jornada electoral si la tienes muestrala," "This Election Day, if you've got it, use it."

"It's causing confusion with voters and now a lot of anger in the Hispanic community," said Juan Ramos, a former city council member who heads the Delaware Valley Voter Registration Education Project. "The state should emphasize you don't need it to vote."

Ron Ruman, spokesman for the state's Department of State, said voters will need to show identification in elections after Nov. 6, and the billboards are meant to educate voters.

"We wanted to make sure the word got out there. There's a higher chance folks in urban areas might not have a driver's license," Ruman said.

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