In English, the billboard pictured above reads: “This election, if you’ve got it, show it.” It is one of 58 billboards erected by Pennsylvania’s Republican-led Department of State, mostly in Democratic-leaning Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Though Latinos make up only 6 percent of the state’s population, about 20 percent of the billboards are in Spanish. Similar Spanish-language ads appear on public buses.
“The ad is really confusing and misleading,” says Marian Schneider, the attorney with the Advancement Project who on October 2 convinced a judge to delay the state’s voter ID law. At the same time, she failed to win an injunction against advertisements publicizing the law, but Schneider recently submitted a new brief asking the court to get involved. She believes the new ads “blur the message” and may dissuade people from voting if they do not have ID.