Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website   Read more about this blog.
Posted: November 7th, 2012
Were you asked to provide ID when you voted?

I wasn’t. But I had my license handy anyway. Why? Because I am tired of spelling my name. I often pull out my driver’s license instead of going through the tedious task of slowly spelling both my first and last names. It’s just easier. It didn’t even cross my  mind that I might be complying with a law that hasn’t even gone into effect yet.

But apparently, there’s been some controversy in our brave state of Pennsylvania. Some towns in the lower portion of the state, namely in the Easton area, set up signs at polling places, warning voters to have their IDs ready before entering. This resulted in voters leaving and not voting. 

There were also problems that at least one voter encountered at a video polling booth, when he pressed the screen to vote for President Obama and the vote registered for Mitt Romney. (Click here to see the video.)

When my husband and I arrived at our polling place, an older man was sitting inside the first set of glass doors with a large, bound print out of names. He said, “If you don’t want to get any more bothersome phone calls about the election, give me your name and I will cross you off the list.” Since we weren’t on the list, we had to assume that he was a poll watcher from one of the two parties since we are registered Independent because of working for a news media outlet.

Is this a violation? I’m not sure. But our polling place wasn’t an isolated incident. Elsewhere in the state, so-called poll watchers–people appointed by a designated party to observe at polling places–were kicked out for crossing the line and accused of trying to intimidate voters.

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One comment on “Were you asked to provide ID when you voted?

  1. Nancy Julien Kopp on said:

    We had to show a photo ID because it is now law in our state. Here, we’re asked for a photo ID to get a library card and to get a mammogram, so why not to vote, too? It may or may not cut down on voter fraud, but it’s a simple thing. Even non-drivers can get a photo ID.

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