Montgomery County on Monday officially introduced its previously announced program to issue voter identification cards that comply with the state's controversial Voter ID law.
The understated, white, credit-card sized IDs will be available beginning Wednesday, Oct. 3 to all registered voters who live in Montgomery County.
"This is not a ticket to vote," said Commissioner Bruce Castor, who pointed out that those presenting the identification at a polling place on Nov. 6 where they do not appear in the registration rolls will still be unable to vote.
Those seeking to obtain the identification must present one of seven forms of identification displaying their name and address:
- A non-photo ID issued by Pennsylvania or any of its government agencies
- A non-photo ID issued by the federal government or any of its agencies
- A firearm permit
- A current utility bill
- A current bank statement
- A paycheck
- A government check
Applicants must also sign an affidavit affirming that they are a U.S. citizen, a resident of the county, and a currently registered voter in the county.
The IDs will be available at a location somewhere in Montgomery County on most days between Oct. 3 and Election Day. They are being issued under the auspices of the Parkhouse senior care facility in Upper Providence. County Commissioner Josh Shapiro said Parkhouse staff are being trained in the identification issuance procedures.
The labor required to implement the program is estimated to cost $3,100, Shapiro said. Shapiro said the county believes the entire program will cost less than $5,000.
See the county's complete schedule of dates and locations for obtaining a voter identification card in this article's PDF section.
The county's main office building, One Montgomery Plaza, at 422 Swede Street in Norristown, will host the majority of the card issuance events, which will also be held at facilities such as libraries, schools and senior centers around the county. Several of the issuance events are being held jointly with previously scheduled free county flu clinics.
Shapiro, displaying his own county-issued ID, said he intends to present it to vote on Nov. 6. County poll workers are being trained to recognize and accept the new identification, Commissioner Leslie Richards said.
The program was introduced on the eve of a state judge's deadline to decide whether the state's Voter ID law will remain intact for Election Day. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson has to rule by the end of the day on Tuesday whether the law will prevent registered voters from casting ballots or whether the state has failed to ensure that voters have sufficiently easy access to obtaining photo identification that meets the law's requirements.
"We're all awaiting the ruling of Judge Simpson," Shapiro said. "We are going to move forward regardless of what Judge Simpson rules. Obviously, this issue will go back to the Supreme Court. We think it's too important to delay our efforts here ... while we wait on the courts, we need to get IDs in the hands of registered voters."
The county's identification cards are valid for five years, meaning those who obtain them this month will be able to use them through the 2016 presidential election cycle.
Earlier story below
Patch associate regional editor David Powell is attending a press conference today where Montgomery County authorities will explain how they will be handling issuing voter IDs.
The county has provided a mock-up of the ID, which shows it is to be used for voting only, and a photo showing what it will look like when someone comes to obtain an ID.
Commissioner Josh Shapiro said during the first part of the press conference that the "Entire effort is expected to cost the county less than $5,000."
Check back with Patch for more details following the press conference.