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Lawmaker Calls on Pennsylvania Department of State to Stop Airing “Show It” Ads

October 11, 2013
HARRISBURG- A state lawmaker is calling on the Pennsylvania Department of State to stop airing a controversial “Show It” ad dealing with needing a photo ID to vote in next month’s election.

Our speaker is Senator Matt Smith, the ranking Democrat on the Senate State Government Committee, who says the ads mislead voters into believing that they must show a photo ID to vote in next month’s election.

 “If one individual is under the impression that they will not be permitted to vote without a photo ID and stays home on November 5, that is one person too many,” Senator Smith said.

In a letter to the Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele, Smith called the department’s action “troubling” and “confusing” and suggested that the money from the reported $1 million ad campaign instead go toward advertisements that detail where and how voters can obtain free photo identification -- without mentioning identification requirements.

Senator Smith says the ad which began running this week on television, radio and websites looks and sounds similar to the original Voter ID ad that said voters must show a photo ID in order to vote.

Senator Smith says he doesn’t know the Department of State’s motive in airing the ad, but he hopes the Corbett Administration will remove it immediately.

 “As we wait for the Commonwealth Court to issue a decision on the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law, a better use of taxpayer dollars would be to educate all Pennsylvanians on how they can obtain a valid photo ID without the implication of a law that is not currently – and may never be – in effect,” Senator Smith said.

 Senator Smith cites particular concern with the use of taxpayer funds to promote a law that is currently being challenged and under a judge’s injunction.

“Simply put, taxpayer funds should not be used to promote this law until there is a clear and final decision by Commonwealth Court on its constitutionality,” Smith said. “I’m disappointed that the department isn’t putting scarce state dollars to better use.”

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