Morning Must Reads: Misleading Voter ID Ads in PA

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Pennsylvania continues to run advertisements with misleading information about voter ID in the upcoming election, advocates tell Mother Jones Magazine this week. (Thanks to Pittsburgh political rapper Jasiri X for sharing the article.)

A state court ruling earlier this month halted enforcement of Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law in the upcoming election.  The decision followed two reports from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center that documented persistent and widespread confusion over this law among PennDOT staff and voters seeking IDs.

Apparently, the confusion continues, as Mother Jones reports:

Early this month, a federal judge partially overturned Pennsylvania's voter ID law, ruling that the state couldn't require voters to show photo identification at the polls until after the 2012 election. But the ruling has not stopped the state from running ads suggesting otherwise — ads that have disproportionately targeted urban and minority communities that tend to vote for Democrats

In English, the billboard pictured above reads: "This election, if you've got it, show it." It is one of 58 billboards erected by Pennsylvania's Republican-led Department of State, mostly in Democratic-leaning Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Though Latinos make up only 6 percent of the state's population, about 20 percent of the billboards are in Spanish. Similar Spanish-language ads appear on public buses. ...

"What our groups are concerned about is that the billboards are not sending voters the message that the ID is not needed for this election," says Marcia Johnson-Blanco, codirector of the Voting Rights Project. Her group is fighting back with its own ads, which say that people without IDs can still vote this year.


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