Official commends Penn State for quick action on voter ID law

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele today (Sept. 26) commended Penn State for making its student IDs acceptable for voting under Pennsylvania’s voter ID law. Beginning with this November’s election, Pennsylvania voters are required to show valid photo ID to cast a ballot.

“Penn State quickly took action to add expiration dates to ID cards for incoming students beginning with this past summer term, and making university issued stickers available for returning students, to ensure all Penn State students are able to vote,” Aichele said at a news conference in the HUB-Robeson Center on Penn State’s University Park campus. “Penn State is our state’s largest university, and this action made sure any of the school’s 90,000-plus students who don’t have other acceptable ID can vote using their student ID."

Achiele, whose department oversees elections, explained the new voter ID law to a crowd in the HUB, hoping to educate students about the new law and encourage them to vote in the upcoming elections.

Under Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, a number of IDs are acceptable, as long as they have an expiration date and are not expired. Penn State's id+ Office in the HUB moved quickly to alter student ID cards to accommodate the newly enacted Pennsylvania voter law.

Beginning with summer 2012 orientation, all new student ID cards issued now include a printed expiration date that is five years from the date of issue. Current students who have not yet been issued an ID card with an expiration date, can receive an expiration sticker that will be affixed to Penn State's id+ Card, making it valid for voting under the new law. Details on obtaining a sticker can be found at

“The University must do all it can to promote among our students an understanding of their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and they, in turn, must do all they can to exercise and honor those rights and responsibilities," said Damon Sims, Penn State's vice president for Student Affairs. "Our students should have much to say about the world which they will lead, and voting is a wonderful place to start.”

Other forms of acceptable ID include:

-- Photo IDs issued by the U.S. Government of the Commonwealth of PA;

-- PA driver’s license or non-driver’s license photo ID (these IDs are valid for voting purposes 12 months past expiration date);

-- Valid U.S. passport;

-- U.S. military ID: active duty and retired military (a military or veteran’s ID must designate an expiration date or designate that the expiration date is indefinite). Military dependents’ ID must contain an expiration date;

-- Employee photo ID issued by federal, Pennsylvania state and Pennsylvania county or municipality;

-- Photo ID from an accredited Pennsylvania public or private college, university, or seminary; and

-- Photo ID issued by a Pennsylvania care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities or personal care homes.

Penn State students Maggie Quinn and Drew McGehrin, representing the College Republicans and College Democrats, respectively, also attended the news conference to stress the importance of students voting.

Any registered voter who does not have an acceptable ID for voting may get one, free of charge, at any of 71 PennDOT driver license centers around the state. More information is available at, or by calling 877-VOTESPA (877-868-3772). The deadline to register to vote in Pennsylvania is Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Last Updated October 02, 2012