Johnson-Goldwater. Nixon-Humphrey. Nixon-McGovern. Carter-Ford. Reagan-Carter. Reagan-Mondale. Bush-Dukakis. Clinton-Bush. Clinton-Dole. Bush-Gore. Bush-Kerry. Obama-McCain. There’s a small group of Pennsylvania voters who have cast a ballot in each of those elections — and every November election — the state has held over the past 50 years. But thanks to the new voter ID law passed by Republicans last year, a large chunk of them don’t currently have the means to participate in 2012. Nearly one-fourth of the senior citizen voters who have cast a ballot in the past 50 consecutive elections (including November 2011) lack a valid state-issued ID and could be prevented from casting a ballot in November, according to a new PA AFL-CIO analysis of data provided by the state. Pennsylvania’s “Voter Hall of Fame,” organized by the Department of State, is a list of 21,000 inductees who have voted in 50 consecutive general elections. Of the 5,923 of them who are currently registered voters, 1,384 of them either have no valid state ID or have an ID which expired before Nov. 6, 2011, which would make it invalid at the polls under the state’s voter ID law.
The PA AFL-CIO matched Hall of Fame inductees with a list of registered voters who lacked a form of photo ID, only including individuals who were over 68 years old and who voted in the 2011 election to restrict analysis to still living voters. One of those Hall of Fame voters is Edith M. Haagen, a 91-year-old from Clinton, Pa. who used to work for the state. She used to have a license, but it expired in 2007 (according to her husband, Sam) and will not be valid under the law. “I wouldn’t be able to vote if I don’t get some form of ID,” Haagen told TPM in a phone interview Wednesday. “I wondered why it was, what was the problem that they’d pass something like that. It’s awful funny.”
Haagen lives just three blocks from her polling station but will likely vote absentee ballot this year so she can still have her vote counted. “For an older person, you know, I think it will be a lot of trouble,” Haagen, a former secretary, told TPM.