Montgomery County has suspended its efforts to issue voter identification to residents since ID is not required for the general election on Nov. 6.
In response to the voter ID law originally required by the state, the Montgomery County commissioners took it upon themselves to make voter ID cards free and available to all residents within the county.
The county's senior care facility, Parkhouse, was issuing the identification cards to residents, as allowed by a loophole in the voter ID law. Since they have started providing ID cards on Oct. 3, Parkhouse has issued 68 acceptable identification cards to residents of Montgomery County.
"It is my recommendation, at this point, that we suspend issuing ID cards and revisit this issue next spring," stated solicitor Ray McGarry.
It has been two weeks since the court decision was made, and an appeal has not been filed. McGarry stated it is every indication from the commonwealth that there will not be an appeal to the law.
In efforts to reduce even more voter confusion regarding the identification requirements and save the county money, Montgomery County has temporarily stopped issuing identification. The Commonwealth Court stated in December there will be status conference, at which time a trial on the merits on the constitutionally on the voter ID law will be set. Montgomery County will revisit issuing voter IDs if the law applies for the primary election.
"I personally want to thank our staff who did an excellent job in putting this together so quickly, so cost effectively and also in a way that it really meant something," thanked Commissioner Leslie S. Richards, chairwoman of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
Montgomery County focused its efforts to have available hours in the evenings, weekends and also multiple locations throughout the county for residents.
"I'm very happy that we've done all the research, we know how it's going to work and we were able to implement it for a few weeks," said Richards.
While there was no formal action required by the commissioners, Chairman Joshua D. Shapiro stated it is important to have this discussion in public and for the county to remain transparent in its actions. The IDs that have been issued by Parkhouse are still acceptable forms of identification for voting.