Eligible voters living at , some of whom have voted in every election since the 1940s, are being issued colorful identification cards, complete with a photograph and expiration date, which meet new Department of State requirements for voting on Nov. 6.
and the Fair Acres administration are issuing the photo identification cards to residents at the county’s skilled care facility so residents are able to vote at the polling place on Election Day. However, some Fair Acres residents do opt to vote by absentee ballot.
County Council Vice-Chairman Mario J. Civera Jr., council’s liaison to Fair Acres, and Councilman Dave White, council’s liaison to the Election Bureau, visited the Staff Development Office at Fair Acres on Aug. 21, where a camera and ID card printer was set up.
The ID card was printed with the Fair Acres logo, the Delaware County seal, the individual’s name and photograph and a current expiration date.
The first residents to receive their photo ID card included Dorothy Greene, 95, who spent most of her life in Broomall and always votes; Phil McLaughlin, 70, a Media native who has never missed an election; and James Wood, 47, an avid sports fan who also exercises his right to vote.
Lillian Obenland, 83, was happy to have the photo ID for many uses, but particularly to, "make sure I vote to get the right person in office." And Gloria Kluka, who turns 80 in September, said she has been voting since she was 21 and will be sure to vote in November.
"We value our residents at Fair Acres and we want to ensure that they enjoy the best quality of life possible, including the ability to exercise their right to vote,” White said.
Council, the Election Bureau and Voter Registration staff are working to inform residents about the , enacted in the spring. All voters will be required to show , one with an expiration date that is current, to be eligible to vote at the polls in the Nov. 6 General Election.
"This is a significant change in the way that people vote in Pennsylvania and it is our goal to ensure that the voting process is accessible and open to all registered voters," said White.
"In talking to residents, we recognize that people have questions, particularly senior citizens, and we want to be sure that people have the correct information on what constitutes acceptable photo ID, how they obtain a photo ID and how that impacts people who vote by absentee ballot,” White said.
On March 15, in the nation to require voters to show photo identification at the polls, starting with the November General Election.
To prepare voters for the new requirement, the DOS has a special Resource Center section on its website (VotesPA.com) with various FAQ documents that detail the various forms of acceptable ID.
"Leading up to the General Election, we will provide information to help residents understand this new law. We plan to conduct outreach to senior centers and through our libraries and human service agencies to ensure that people are informed and can access the necessary identification,” White said. "We don’t want anyone to forgo their right to vote because they can’t access a photo ID."
White said senior citizens have already called the Voter Registration and Bureau of Election departments asking about the new law. Many questions are about absentee ballots. There are new identification requirements for absentee ballots. Under the new law, voters must provide their driver’s license number, the last four digits of their Social Security number or a copy of an accepted photo ID when applying for an absentee ballot.
"Our goal is to make this a smooth transition for voters. We are ready to help with your questions," White said.
The voter ID laws have been facing legal challenges in various states, including Pennsylvania, so it’s important for voters to stay informed throughout the election cycle.
The deadline to register to vote in the November General Election is Oct. 9 and the deadline to apply for a civilian absentee ballot is Oct. 30.
This press release was provided by the Delaware County Council Public Relations Department.