is asking the state Department of Transportation to designate several "Voter ID Days" in September and October when hours at driver’s license centers across the state would be extended and additional staff would be dedicated to help residents obtain the photo identification needed to vote on Election Day.
Neuman made the proposal in a letter to PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch—one that said "Voter ID Days" would allow more voters to get to PennDOT driver’s license centers to obtain their photo ID, and free up department employees on other days to deal with routine requests.
If granted, PennDOT would designate one or two days in September and October when driver’s license centers would be open extended hours—from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.—the same hours polling places are open on Election Day. On these special Voter ID Days, PennDOT also would dedicate certain staff, including at least one customer service line, solely to processing voter ID requests.
“Because the state is rushing implementation of this law for the upcoming presidential election, the opportunity to educate voters about the new ID requirements and the process for obtaining them has been severely compressed,” Neuman, D-, said.
In his letter, the legislator said: “I believe our PennDOT employees around the Commonwealth are trying their best to effectively handle this additional burden but, with less than 60 days until Election Day, I am wondering if there isn’t something more we can do.”
Neuman said special "Voter ID Days" would allow local and state officials to partner with community groups to organize transportation options for people who otherwise cannot get to a PennDOT driver’s license center.
“We know not just anecdotally, but also from PennDOT’s own data, that this new law is impacting hundreds of thousands of legitimate, registered voters across the state,” Neuman said. “Setting aside just a few days between now and the election to focus on making driver’s license centers—and the process for obtaining a voter ID—as accessible as possible for as many voters as possible certainly is what I believe to be a reasonable request."
He added: “Now that the law is in effect, the number one goal of state officials should be to make sure that everyone who needs a voter ID has the opportunity to get one before Election Day, and to minimize any confusion so everything goes on as normal November 6.”