In September the state’s top election official, Carol Aichele, lauded Pennsylvanians who had voted in general elections for 50 straight years and were being named members of the Pennsylvania Voter Hall of Fame. “Voting is among our most fundamental and important rights as United States citizens,” the secretary of the commonwealth told inductees in Butler. “President Eisenhower said, ‘The future of the Republic is in the hands of the voters.’ Voting is the most basic means by which we, the people, keep control of our government.” A new study by union critics of the state’s strict new voter identification law argues nearly a quarter of such Hall of Fame voters, all of whom are elderly, may not have acceptable ID to exercise that right in November.
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.