Alternative Ballots: Voter ID Loophole For Seniors, Disabled?

Alternative ballots could be a way for some people to vote without showing their ID.

While we wait for a ruling this week on the controversial Voter ID bill, there appears to be a loophole, according to Philly.com, in the form of the alternative ballot.

The alternative ballot is basically an absentee ballot for those with a disability or who are older than 65 and who have a polling place deemed inaccessible by the County Board of Elections.

Although the application for absentee ballot now asks for your drivers license number, Social Security number or other acceptable form of identification, the alternative ballot application does not ask for that.

If you are planning on voting by absentee ballot or alternative ballot, be sure to plan ahead. Applications for either must be received no later than 5 p.m. on October 30 and the completed ballot must be received no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day (November 6).

Local Voices Speak Out About Voter ID Law

: “I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. That being said, I am the majority inspector of elections in Lower Merion 8-2 and having read all 29 pages of HB 934 the voter ID bill suspect I will have to become one to follow the minutia in this unnecessary bill.”

: “In one sense the history of elections in the USA has recorded a march to an expansion of the electorate...Nevertheless, two elements of voting have resisted this march toward greater inclusiveness: the shape of the districts in which we cast our ballots for our national and state representatives, and the obstacles we place in the way of physically getting to the polls on election day.”

: “Stop whining about the Pennsylvania “Voter ID” law. Instead of resorting to name calling and the like, why not rationally debate the issue that is PA. Voter ID law? And, by the way, what is wrong with having a photo ID when one goes to the voting booth to cast that all-important American vote?”

What do you think? Let us know in the comments are below.

JohnHerald August 12, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Opponents of Pennsylvania's voter ID law are suing the state under the following claim: "...the Photo ID Law impermissibly adds an additional qualification to the voter qualifications set out in Article VII, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution." The full constitutional provision referred to here reads as follows: "Elections shall be free and equal; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage." Given the number of registered voters who now have to re-establish their right to vote or face losing that right, given how the law accepts existing photo IDs without question for everybody else and given the incompetence of the state in devising a system for obtaining IDs (free IDs, for example, are still not available), the inequality and interference built into the voter ID law should be self-evident to everyone. The exception, of course, are those who buy the Republicans' bogeyman fictions about illegal aliens and felons threatening the integrity of the ballot and "common sense" arguments that portray voting as a privilege rather than a right.
Michael Wacey August 12, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I look at the voter ID law from an Identity Management perspective. That is, how do we know that the person standing in front of us is who they say they are? There is in fact no way to do this that is foolproof. But, I would suggest that the Photo IDs that are required in no way improve on proper identity. If one is determined to vote as someone else, creating a fake id that will pass on a busy election day will be the least of their concerns. I have worked on commercial identity management solutions. they all accept a certain level of false positives and false negatives because of cost. My guess is that military grade identity management does not - at an extremely high cost. So, on the face of it, Photo ID laws do not accomplish what they set out to do.
Voter August 12, 2012 at 11:58 PM
I got the letter from the Secretary of PA. By reading that letter I thought I was ok-after all I have a drivers license...then I was talking with a friend who said that I'm wrong. I called Voter Services and they said they couldn't tell me what the problem is. Great, the state passes a law, the Secretary of State sends me a letter that sys nothing, then Voter Services can't help me???? What the hell. I'm young, have my body, a car and can do the leg work if I know what that is. I can only hope that on election day the people who think this is a great law will be prevented to vote. I will find a way to vote...Republicans, Pennsylvania and Voter Services be damned!!
freeandequalpa August 13, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Here is the definition of acceptable ID, directly from the statute: "(2) [A] document that: (i) shows the name of the individual to whom the document was issued and the name substantially conforms to the name of the individual as it appears in the district register; (ii) shows a photograph of the individual to whom the document was issued; (iii) includes an expiration date and is not expired, except: (A) for a document issued by the Department of Transportation which is not more than twelve (12) months past the expiration date; or (B) in the case of a document from an agency of the Armed forces of the United States or their reserve components, including the Pennsylvania National Guard, establishing that the elector is a current member of or a veteran of the United States Armed Forces or National Guard which does not designate a specific date on which the document expires, but includes a designation that the expiration date is indefinite; and (iv) was issued by one of the following: (A) The United States Government. (B) The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (C) A municipality of this Commonwealth to an employee of that municipality. (D) An accredited Pennsylvania public or private institution of higher learning. (E) A Pennsylvania care facility." http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/US/HTM/2012/0/0018..HTM Take this will you to the polls. If your ID meets these criteria and it is refused, insist on voting a provisional ballot.
Francine Goldberg August 13, 2012 at 07:07 PM
But I'm afraid that they do "accomplish what they set out to do." Because the intent is to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of PA voters, particularly those who are most likely to vote Democratic. Proven by our PA Republican House Leader. And that's the bottom line, as there is no fraud or other voter problems in PA, or anywhere else in the US for that matter. Which the state of PA admitted in open court. Anyone who believes that this is a sincere effort to alleviate any possible voter fraud needs to be re-aducated, as that voter fraud is non-existent.
evelyn weiner August 15, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Um, kind of hard for dead people to create a fake ID, same with illegal immigrants, it is ridiculous not to have to show who the heck you are when you go vote.
evelyn weiner August 15, 2012 at 03:15 PM
well, take heart. It is possible that the government will play an even bigger role in your life and screw up more things. Cause the two always go hand in hand, don't they?
evelyn weiner August 15, 2012 at 03:16 PM
It is insane that anyone can show up at a voting place, claim to be anyone on the list and vote. `15 times a day if so desired. That is ridiculous. I am so glad this ID law is on the books.
evelyn weiner August 15, 2012 at 03:17 PM
I love this law. so sick of teh whining cheaters


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