It's estimated more than 40,000 voters in Montgomery County are still without an ID to cast a ballot in November's election. Thursday, local leaders voted to make it easier for residents to get valid identification for voting.
Details are still being worked out, but Montgomery County's three member Board of Commissioners authorized Parkhouse Providence Pointe, the county-run nursing home, to issue photo IDs to any county resident registered to vote.
"Montgomery County will do everything it legally is permitted to do to ensure as many registered Montgomery County voters as possible are equipped with an acceptable form of ID," said Commissioner Leslie Richards.
The county's assistant solicitor David Robinson said the Voter ID law designates fives authorized issuers of ID cards, and Pennsylvania care facilities are one of them. But the law does not designate who the facility can issue the IDs to.
"An analysis of the legislative intent behind the law would indicate that the legislature intended to limit only one type of issuer," explained Robinson.
The county did its own legal analysis and the commissioners said they're simply following the law to making it as easy as possible to get a voter ID.
"I believe it's the correct interpretation of the law," added Commissioner Bruce Castor.
"This action here tonight ensures the rights of eligible Montgomery County voters," said Commission Chairman Josh Shapiro.
Officials said the cost to hand out authorized IDs will be minimal, and residents may be able to get them at other locations throughout the county. The specifics of the voter ID program are still being worked out, but details should be available by October 1.
Montgomery County's resolution came the same day as an announcement by Allegheny County officials that they plan to issue photo voter ID cards from the Community College of Allegheny County and the Kane Regional Centers, a group of county-owned nursing homes. They also feel the program is perfectly legal.
A hearing on the legality of the voter ID law is set for Commonwealth Court for October 2.