State Flags DeLissio's Voter ID
State representative warned to check identification's validity.
Leading up to the passage and now implementation of the Pennsylvania Voter ID Law, state Rep. Pam DeLissio (D-194) has been an outspoken critic about the "irresponsibly quick" timeline. That speedy runup prior to the November 2012 election almost cost DeLissio a chance to vote for herself.
DeLissio, like 4,600 registered voters in the 194th District, recently received a letter from the Department of State warning that her identification may be invalid. The freshman lawmaker seeking reelection this fall felt troubled but also confused: the letter didn't specify what the problem was.
"If the constituents are like me, they were saying, 'Hey, how am I supposed to fix something, if I don't know what the issue is?'" she said before the Ridge Park Civic Association Thursday night in Roxborough.
The state rep followed up with the Department of State and learned the cause: Her ID name "DeLissio" may not match the registration record, if "De Lissio" or "Delissio" is marked.
As the state's VotesPa.com indicates, IDs must "substantially conform" to registration. In DeLissio's case, she learned there wouldn't be a problem come Election Day, but the "vagueness" of commonwealth's guidelines troubled her.
Of the 4,600 of DeLissio's constituents flagged in Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township, she said many were women. That's because registration records may not reflect a woman's marital status, especially if she changed her name, hyphenated it, or got divorced.
"There's a scenario out there where a husband and wife with similar IDs go to the polls, have IDs with the same address, and one of them can't vote," she said.
On its website, Pennsylvania Democrats recommend citizens bring a marriage license or divorce decree to fix that problem. And the commonwealth asserts that citizens with identification issues come Election Day can file provisional ballots and present ID later at a courthouse.
DeLissio wants to head off problems before it gets to that stage. Following her ID scare, she robocalled 194th-flagged constituents, instructing them how to solve their own identification issues.
"All I know is, depending on how severe the poll workers are, Nov. 6 could be a long day," she said.
Visit VotesPa.com for more information or call the Voter ID hotline: 1-877-VotesPA (868-3772).