Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Incorrect voter-ID info at Delco polling places

Teams of Delaware County deputy sheriffs have been scrambling today to remove forms that incorrectly stated that "ALL VOTERS" are required to show photo identification.

Incorrect voter-ID info at Delco polling places

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Most Pennsylvanians don't need photo identification to vote in today's election, as a result of a Commonwealth Court ruling last month postponing the implementation of the state's new voter-ID law.

But you wouldn't know that if you read the green sheet hanging in Delaware County polling places labeled, "ELECTION NEWS. Important Information for You!"

That information is wrong. The sheet incorrectly states that "ALL VOTERS" must provide a valid form of identification, and that if they don't have approved ID they can only vote with a provisional ballot.

"I can tell you we were made aware of that last evening, that those forms contained incorrect information," said county Election Bureau Solicitor Frank Catania. He said the county had the forms printed by a Pittsburgh company, William Penn Printing, prior to the court ruling that postponed the Republican-backed voter-ID law.

"We dispatched teams of deputy sheriffs to go to more than 420 polling places. We told the judge of elections to take them down," Catania said, adding that his office has been receiving complaints about the erroneous forms.

At 1:30 p.m., the green form was still one of the first signs you saw just inside the door of the polling place at the Lamb of God Chinese Church in Havertown. When questioned about the form by a Daily News reporter, Peter Goldring, the polling place's judge of elections, crossed out the word "ALL VOTERS" with his black pen. He said the form was included with the packet sent to the polling place by the county.

"You're getting here at 6:30 and setting up by 7, so the amount of time you're looking at what you're posting isn't very good," said Goldring, 65. "You're sent a package like this and it's, 'Go and post it.' Most of your time at the beginning is to try to get the machines set up."

Goldring is no fan of the voter-ID law. In fact, he said he resigned his position as judge of elections after the law was passed earlier this year. He gathered signatures to get reinstated after the state court delayed implementation of the law.

"I might resign again until I'm satisfied that everything has been done to give everybody a chance to vote who might vote, who would have been able to vote before without any harm fault or foul," he said.

While the green page may have confused some voters, there was a yellow yard sign in front of the polling place that read: "YOU DO NOT NEED A PHOTO ID TO VOTE IN THIS ELECTION unless you are a 1st time voter. PLEASE VOTE!!!" Goldring said it was provided by a Democratic committeeperson.

On the upside, Catania has not received any reports today of gunshots or "leg-sweep maneuvers" at Delaware County polling places.

"No shots. No karate moves," Catania said.

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William Bender and Stephanie Farr
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