New 2012 Voter Identification Law

Gun owners need to be aware about a recent election law change in Pennsylvania that will go into effect for this year’s trip to the voting booth. Valid photo identification will now be required before you can cast a ballot.

In the April primary, you will be asked for identification. If you do not have it, you may still cast a ballot. This has been described as a “dress rehearsal” of sorts for voters. In the November general election, you will have to show identification in order to cast a ballot.

Examples of valid photo identification include a driver’s license, a passport, military ID, a student ID issued by a Pennsylvania college, a photo identification card provided by the state, an employee identification from a municipality or county, or photo identification from an elder care facility. A license to carry a firearm does not currently count as a valid photo identification for voting. (See more about this below.)

If you need to vote by absentee ballot, you will be asked to provide your driver’s license number; the last four digits of their Social Security number or a copy of a photo identification when applying for an absentee ballot. According to legislative sources, you may provide this up to six days after the election for the ballot to be counted.

On Licenses to Carry as Photo Identification
If you would like your license to carry a firearm to count as valid identification to vote, contact your state representative and senator. The law will need to be updated to make this happen.

Some have said that House Republicans are to blame for this oversight. However, the amendment proposed by a Democratic lawmaker to include the firearms permit as valid photo identification was offered at a time in the legislative process when it would have stalled or possibly killed the entire bill. For those who have looked at the roll call of the vote, it explains why lawmakers who have spent their careers voting against gun owners suddenly voted for the amendment.

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