Northeast Times

Voter ID cards will become easier to obtain

Start­Frag­ment

The fur­or over show­ing photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion to vote in the Nov. 6 gen­er­al elec­tion should die down, now that Sec­ret­ary of the Com­mon­wealth Car­ol Aichele has an­nounced cre­ation of an easy-to-ob­tain card.

The cards will be is­sued by the state De­part­ment of Trans­port­a­tion and will be avail­able to re­gistered voters who are not able to provide all the doc­u­ments they would nor­mally need — such as a birth cer­ti­fic­ate — to ob­tain photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion from PennDOT.

The free cards will be ready by the last week of Au­gust. They can be picked up at driver’s li­cense cen­ters.

Cit­izens must bring two proofs of res­id­ence, such as a util­ity bill, along with their date of birth and So­cial Se­cur­ity num­ber. The cards will be is­sued on the spot. They will be val­id for 10 years and can only be used to vote.

“Every­one who needs ID to vote will be able to get it months be­fore the elec­tion,” Aichele said.

••

Al Schmidt, a city elec­tions com­mis­sion­er, is mak­ing four re­com­mend­a­tions fol­low­ing his re­lease last week of a 24-page re­port out­lining vot­ing ir­reg­u­lar­it­ies from the April primary.

Schmidt is call­ing for the board of com­mis­sion­ers to con­duct a manu­al re­view of all elec­tion-re­lated doc­u­ments after every elec­tion, fol­lowed by a re­port of its find­ings to the pub­lic; work with the U.S. Cit­izen­ship and Im­mig­ra­tion Ser­vices to de­vel­op a bet­ter meth­od for identi­fy­ing the re­gis­tra­tions of non-cit­izens; give pro­vi­sion­al bal­lots to voters not in­cluded in the poll books; and as­sist law en­force­ment au­thor­it­ies with identi­fy­ing pos­sible cases of voter fraud.

A Re­pub­lic­an, Schmidt de­tailed sev­en types of vot­ing ir­reg­u­lar­it­ies.

Here are some of his find­ings:

• Twenty-three people were al­lowed to vote, even though their names were not in the book at the polling place. One of these was a GOP voter in the 66th Ward, 28th Di­vi­sion in Mor­rell Park.

• In the 55th Ward, 29th Di­vi­sion, which has its polling place at 7049 Frank­ford Ave., six people voted in the Re­pub­lic­an primary without sign­ing in, or at least one per­son voted more than once.

• In the 6th Ward, 12th Di­vi­sion, in West Phil­adelphia, eight people were al­lowed to vote in the Demo­crat­ic primary, even though they are re­gistered Re­pub­lic­an, in­de­pend­ent or with a minor party.

• One wo­man, a Demo­crat from West Phil­adelphia, voted twice, once in the 4th Ward and an­oth­er time in the 44th Ward.

••

In an on­line sur­vey con­duc­ted by the In­de­pend­ence Hall Tea Party As­so­ci­ation, Flor­ida Sen. Marco Ru­bio was the run­away choice as Mitt Rom­ney’s vice pres­id­en­tial run­ning mate.

Al­most 400 people re­spon­ded from the tri-state area.

U.S. Sen. Rob Port­man of Ohio, Louisi­ana Gov. Bobby Jin­dal and former Min­nesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty — who are most men­tioned as likely choices — re­ceived little sup­port in the sur­vey.

Ru­bio re­ceived 151 votes, or 39 per­cent of the 387 votes cast. He was fol­lowed by Flor­ida Rep. Al­len West, Ken­tucky Sen. Rand Paul, Wis­con­sin Rep. Paul Ry­an and a tie between New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie and former Sec­ret­ary of State Con­doleezza Rice.

“Since our Tea Party PAC was the first in the na­tion to en­dorse Gov. Rom­ney — be­fore the Iowa Caucus in Janu­ary — we not only shared the res­ults of our sur­vey with our mem­ber­ship, but also key fig­ures in the Rom­ney cam­paign,” said Teri Adams, pres­id­ent of the group. “We, of course, will sup­port whomever the gov­ernor picks, but it’s clear that the se­lec­tion of Ru­bio would gen­er­ate an im­mense amount of en­thu­si­asm.”

Rom­ney was sched­uled to leave on an over­sea trip this week and is un­likely to name his run­ning mate dur­ing the Sum­mer Olympics, which end on Aug. 12. The Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Con­ven­tion will take place from Aug. 27-30 in Tampa, Fla.

••

The 22nd an­nu­al Stu Bykof­sky Can­did­ates’ Com­edy Night will take place Wed­nes­day, Aug. 22 at Finnigan’s Wake, at Third and Spring Garden streets.

The event will be­ne­fit Vari­ety — The Chil­dren’s Char­ity. More than $440,000 has been raised since 1991.

Finnigan’s Wake own­er Mike Driscoll will provide the third-floor ban­quet room for free.

Sports comedi­an Joe Conk­lin will en­ter­tain the crowd.

The show will run from 8 to 10 p.m. Doors open at 7:30.

Par­ti­cipants will in­clude U.S. Sen. Bob Ca­sey Jr. and his Re­pub­lic­an op­pon­ent, Tom Smith; Dav­id Freed and Kath­leen Kane, the can­did­ates for state at­tor­ney gen­er­al; U.S. Rep. Bob Brady and his Re­pub­lic­an op­pon­ent, John Feather­man; Robert Mans­field, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate in the 2nd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict; U.S. Rep. Jim Ger­lach and his Demo­crat­ic op­pon­ent, Dr. Man­an Trivedi; U.S. Rep. Pat Mee­han and his Demo­crat­ic op­pon­ent, George Badey; U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick and his Demo­crat­ic chal­lenger, Kathy Boock­var; and U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz.

Tick­ets cost $75.

For more in­form­a­tion, con­tact Eric Perry at 215-735-0803, Ext. 11 or ericperry@vari­etyph­ila.org ••End­Frag­ment 

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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