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Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
Indianapolis, IN - Today, Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita unveiled a new website dedicated to educating Hoosiers about the new law requiring Indiana voters to show photo identification when voting at the polls. The website is one part of a massive statewide education initiative already underway that lets Hoosiers know what to expect at the polls during the May 2 and November 7, 2006 Primary and General Elections.
The website, found at http://www.photoid.in.gov/, explains the exemptions under the law, what kinds of IDs are acceptable, how to get an ID, how to vote without an ID, how to vote absentee, and what documents are necessary to get a free ID. The new site walks voters through the steps to get a free state-issued ID from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) as allowed by law, and allows voters to print off a checklist for required documents and an explanation of the new law to take with them to the BMV.
In addition to the website, the Secretary of State's office is spending $1.2 million of state and federal dollars on television, radio and print ads encouraging Hoosiers to register to vote, bring ID to the polls, and provide general answers to voting and accessibility questions. Currently, print ads and six television and radio spots cover all 92 Indiana counties. Reminders to bring photo ID to the polls are also being placed on the inside and outside of transit systems in major metropolitan areas as well as at bus stops in order to target voters who may not drive or have a driver's license.
Rokita's office also continues to train pollworkers and county clerks on the new requirement to have better informed sources of information in local communities. As part of the first uniform pollworker training program in Indiana, election officials and county administrators are taking advantage of the voluntary training in order to assist voters with the new requirement.
Finally, the Secretary of State's office is offering materials and presentations on Photo ID statewide by partnering with groups like the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and the Indiana Healthcare Association to educate voters. The office has already presented to NAACP chapters in Gary, Hammond and Muncie. Rokita's office also is touring Indiana's public and private colleges and universities to educate young and often out-of-state voters about the new requirement. As a result of one of the first stops on the college tour, the Purdue University student government voted unanimously to add an expiration date to their university IDs in order to make them compliant with the Photo ID law.
Many of the ideas currently in use for the education campaign are a direct result of input given by the Vote with ID Task Force Rokita assembled in 2005 following the passage of the new law. Bringing together community and statewide leaders and interested parties ranging from members of the Indiana General Assembly to the media, Rokita's team provided invaluable suggestions that helped frame the Photo ID education plan. Members of the task force have also worked hard to educate members of their constituencies about the new law.
"These education initiatives are vital to providing Hoosiers with the information they need come Election Day," Rokita said. "By putting significant money behind the campaign and drawing ideas from the Vote with ID Task Force, we are taking unprecedented steps to inform all Hoosiers about what they need to expect at the polls."
Public Law 109-2005 requires Indiana residents to present a qualifying state or federally issued photo ID before casting a ballot at the polls on Election Day. To learn more about the law and how to get a free photo ID for voting purposes, visit http://www.photoid.in.gov/. To see the complete Vote with ID Education Plan and roster of the Vote with ID Task Force, visit www.sos.IN.gov.