Controversial Billboards Urge Spanish-Speakers To Show ID


And liberal blog Think Progress reports that a radio ad indicating people would still need ID to vote aired on KDKA on Oct. 26.

"You're not going to be allowed to vote unless you present an acceptable photo identification. Get to a PennDOT licensing center and get a photo ID at the drivers' license center," the ad falsely states.

The billboards are owned by Clear Channel Outdoor, the company that owns the signs in Ohio and Wisconsin that previously caused controversy.

While the state says it has asked for the removal of the original billboards, it fully supports the new signs asking voters to show ID if they have it.

However, it apparently didn't inform all agencies of its plans regarding either billboard, including SEPTA, southeastern Pennsylvania's transportation authority.

One Twitter user, Zack Hagert, using the Twitter handle @smrzle, received a tweet from @SEPTA stating "@smrzle Thanks for information! Sounds like it's a paid advertisement, we are working to have these ad's removed. Thanks again. ^VP," after asking about the signs.

There's just one problem. The state doesn't want the ads, paid for with federal money, removed.

The director of public affairs for SEPTA, Richard Maloney, said he wasn't originally aware of the Tweet, but said, "We took the wrong ones down and the agency that bought the spot put the new ones back up."

According to Mother Jones, while Latinos make up only six percent of the state's population, about 20 percent of the new billboards are in Spanish. Winkler said he didn't know exactly how many billboards are up, but said the Spanish versions appear in Philadelphia.

The Spanish-language version of, while currently accessible, was not always available. And the state was slow to remove voter ID requirements from their websites.

It took a week after the court ruling for Luzerne County, which has one of the fastest growing Latino populations in the country, to remove the billboards.

And votes are set to matter in Pennsylvania. ABC News recently moved the state from 'solid' Obama to 'lean' Obama. Both campaigns have been fighting for votes in the state.


While the Wisconsin billboards have come down, along with those in Ohio, a business owner in the state is facing an official complaint from an employee.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin and others have filed a complaint against the CEO of Rite-Hite, Michael White with the Government Accountability Board.

They allege that White attempted to intimidate more than 1,400 employees into voting for Mitt Romney. White reportedly urged employees in a letter to "understand the personal consequences to them of having our tax rates increase dramatically if President Obama is re-elected."

"I am simply trying to present the facts as I know them and to protect the business you have helped build. Please think carefully about your vote on Nov. 6," it continued.

"Our election laws are set up to protect employees from undue influence and intimidation. The statute is a codification of the very basic notion that bosses do not have the right to threaten the security of their employees' jobs, retirement accounts, or health care plans based on who they vote for in a presidential election," said Jennifer Epps-Addison, economic justice director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, in a statement.

Rite-Hite did not return a call requesting comment, but the email and earlier billboards aren't the only alleged instances of voter intimidation in the state.

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