Need Voter ID and a lift to the nearest PennDot center? Council can help

If you need assistance traveling to the nearest Pennsylvania Department of Transportation center to get your Voter ID, City Council is here to help.

City Council president Darrell Clarke announced Monday that Council is partnering with the Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition to educate and clear-up any confusion about the controversial Voter ID law which requires that photo ID be presented at the polls starting in November.

Clarke said the coalition reached out to Council about a month ago asking for assistance in educating Philadelphians and he decided to take it a step further.

"We're going to be in the position to provide transportation for individuals that need to be taken to Voter ID centers," said Clarke who was joined at the news conference inside  Strawberry Mansion high school, by Council members Maria Quinones-Sanchez, Cindy Bass and Bobby Henon, City Commissioner Anthony Clark, the Hispanic Bar Association, the Senior Law Center and others. Clarke said the effort also includes handouts in neighborhoods and advertisements.

"We will leave no stone unturned in terms of our ability to make sure that people if they want to get ID and they want to be in a position to vote, that opportunity will be there," Clarke said.

Clarke said he and other members will pay for transportation through campaign funds. The transportation would particularly aid senior citizens whom advocates say would be among the most impacted by the law. Young people ages 18-25 and women would be affected too.

Clarke stressed that no city cars would be used and no city workers would be involved in the transportation effort. Clarke said Council is looking for volunteers.

The Department of State said earlier this month that 187,000 Philadelphians do not have a PennDot photo ID. The Republican-run state legislature has said the law is needed to prevent voter fraud, but John Jordan, the director of civic engagement for the NAACP said the "law is strategic, it's targeted and it's well funded."

Jordan is set to testify Tuesday in Commonwealth Court in a suit filed by the Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union who argues that the law will disenfranchise thousands of voters. Additionally, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation into the law.

For more information call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-Our-Vote or the Council president's office at 215-686-2070.

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