The application process for absentee ballots in Lycoming County is being scrapped after it was discovered that the forms may reveal information that could subject voters to identity theft.
Sandy Adams, county voter services director, said the problem came to her attention this week.
Voters are required to write down on applications either their state driver's license number, state Department of Transportation identification number, or the last four digits of Social Security numbers.
Such identification didn't have to be included before.
It's all part of the new voter ID law going into effect in the state this year.
But that wasn't the problem.
Applications sent back to the Voter's Registration office without being placed in a sealed envelope made the information more public, Adams noted.
Adams said the matter was brought before the Lycoming County commissioners earlier this week by a local resident, and the problem has been addressed.
Absentee voters will now be sent forms along with envelopes into which the newly designed forms may be inserted.
State Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport, said his office received a number of calls about the problem.
He noted that voters with the original applications who fear identify theft can bring the forms to Voter Registration rather than mail them.
He said he hopes people won't be dissuaded from voting.
"I am concerned that some people are going to be afraid of participating (in voting) because of information being sent through the mail," he said.
Many of the old applications were sent out.
However, Adams said the newer versions accompanied by envelopes will now be used.