Secretary of the Commonwealth Reminds Voters of Closed Primary and First-Time Voter Identification Requirements

Encourages Pennsylvanians to visit to prepare for April 22


Apr 20, 2008, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Department of State

    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Secretary of the Commonwealth
 Pedro A. Cortes reminded first-time voters and voters who have changed
 address since their last election to bring a form of identification to the
 polls on Tuesday. He also added that Pennsylvania statute requires a closed
 primary, meaning only voters registered as Democrat or Republican will
 select their nominees for office.
     Voters will be casting ballots in the primary election for president
 and 19 Congressional seats. Commonwealth races will include all 203 state
 House of Representative seats, 25 state Senate seats (odd-numbered
 districts), and the three statewide row offices of attorney general,
 auditor general and treasurer.
     "Preparation is key when planning to vote," Cortes said. "With more
 than 218,923 new registrants since January and many more voters who have
 changed their addresses, it's important for Pennsylvanians who are voting
 for the first time in a precinct to bring approved identification."
Approved forms of photo identification include: -- Pennsylvania driver's license or PennDOT ID card -- ID issued by any Commonwealth agency -- ID issued by the U.S. Government -- U.S. passport -- U.S. Armed Forces ID -- Student ID -- Employee ID If a voter does not have photo identification, he or she can use a non- photo identification that includes a name and address. Approved forms of non- photo identification include:
-- Voter ID card issued by the voter registration commission -- Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth -- Non-photo ID issued by the U.S. Government -- Firearm permit -- Current utility bill -- Current bank statement -- Current paycheck -- Government check Cortes also reminded those voters who registered for the first time, changed address or changed party, that they should have received confirmation of registration. He suggested voters call their county voter registration office if they have not received such a confirmation or have other questions. In addition, Cortes explained that individuals must be registered and enrolled in a major political party (in this year's election, Democrat or Republican) to vote in that party's primary. Pennsylvania Election Code 25 P.S. � 2812 states: " ... no elector who is not registered and enrolled as a member of a political party, in accordance with the provisions of this act, shall be permitted to vote the ballot of such party or any party ballot at any primary." Voters who need guidance finding their polling place or seeking other Election Day information may visit the Department's interactive Web site, for answers to their election questions. The site includes tips for first-time voters and members of the armed services, a listing of approved forms of identification for first-time voters, county contact information, voting system demonstrations by county and a polling place locator with driving directions. For more information on voting, call the Department of State's toll free hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772), or visit CONTACT: Leslie Amoros
Rebecca Halton (717) 783-1621

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of State