MT. LEBANON, Oct. 10, 2013 – – State Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny/Washington) today called on the Pennsylvania Department of State to stop airing the controversial “Show it” television, web and radio ads that returned to the airwaves and online this week.

Smith said the ads mislead voters into believing that they must show a photo ID to vote.

“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,” 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.

“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,” Smith said.

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.”


Read the full text of a letter to Sec. Carol Aichele: Download letter


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