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Free Voter ID Cards Available for Some

Posted on: 6:49 pm, August 28, 2012, by , updated on: 07:56pm, August 28, 2012

HANOVER TOWNSHIP — Before you hit the polls this November, Make sure you have a valid ID. Starting today, some voters throughout the state can to get a free voter ID card through PennDot.

Here’s what Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law means for you.

This looks and feels like a driver’s license, but actually it’s a voter ID card, issued by Pennsylvania’s Department of State.

You’ll need a card like this if you want to vote this November but don’t have a valid photo ID.

Eleanor Emershaw, of Wyoming, came to the PennDot Photo Driver’s License Center near Wilkes-Barre to get a voter ID card because she lost her license.

“I had to give it up because i was in a little accident,” said Emershaw.

To get a voter ID card, go to a driver’s license center and take along two proofs of residence, such as bills that show your address. You may also have to fill out a few forms, explaining that you don’t have a valid photo ID.

The voter ID is good for 10 years, but it’s just for voting.

Another card you can get is the Secure Pennsylvania Photo ID. To get one of these, you’ll need two proofs of residence, plus a social security card and a birth certificate or passport. The Pennsylvania Photo ID iss good for four years and can be used for travel and banking, as well as for voting.

“It’s worth it to me to be able to use it to vote and to use it to cash checks and at department stores,” said Rebecca Sparlow, of Kingston.

Rebecca Sparlow of Kingston had to pay a fee of $13.50 for her Pennsylvania Photo ID.  That’s because her driver’s license recently expired and could still be used as a valid photo ID for voting.

Other than the forms, PENNDOT officials say the process to get your voter ID is similar to getting your driver’s license.

But Eleanor Emershaw says she wishes she didn’t have to do it.

“I’ve been born in America. I’ve been an American citizen for 95 years and I think it’s a shame that I have to come up here for an ID when I did drive,” said Emershaw.

The key to whether you have to pay for one of these ID cards is a valid form of photo ID. If you have one, you’ll have to pay $13.50. If you don’t, you’ll have to fill out some forms, and the ID card will be free.

Either way, you’ll be set to vote in November.

Here’s a link that tells you all you need to know.

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