While the number of voters potentially disenfranchised by the state’s voter ID law is an area of dispute in the ongoing Commonwealth Court case seeking to overturn that law, a statewide union says it can say with 99 percent certainty there were in the November 2012 election. The trial of the state’s voter ID law continues on Thursday, but meanwhile, a labor union offers up its own analysis that claims the law that has yet to be enforced has already disenfranchised voters. The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO released its analysis that indicates between 35,239 and 36,613 people were so confused about whether or not they had to produce an acceptable photo ID to vote in the last presidential election that they just stayed home. Nils Hagen-Frederikson, a spokesman for the governor’s Office of General Counsel, dismissed the analysis’ findings. “We are focused on the facts and evidence being discussed in court, not press releases or questionable claims from outside groups.” he said.
A spokesman for the Department of State, which oversees elections, referred a request for comment to Hagen-Frederikson.
Union officials said its analysis confirms what opponents of the law predicted would happen. That is, the state’s educational efforts about the voter ID law last year led people to believe a photo ID was needed to vote, including some mailers sent out after the Commonwealth Court ordered a temporary delay in the law’s enforcement.
The law enacted in March 2012 has not taken effect yet but is due to be enforced in the upcoming November election, although the American Civil Liberties Union-led coalition opposed to the law are seeking in the ongoing Commonwealth Court case to delay its enforcement indefinitely.