More than 758,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania do not have photo identification cards from the state Transportation Department, putting their voting rights at risk in the November election, according to data released Tuesday by state election officials. The figures – representing 9.2 percent of the state’s 8.2 million voters – are significantly higher than prior estimates by the Corbett administration. Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele has repeatedly said that 99 percent of Pennsylvania’s voters already had the photo ID they will need at the polls in November. The new numbers, based on a comparison of voter registration rolls with PennDot ID databases, shows the potential problem is much bigger, particularly in Philadelphia, where 186,830 registered voters – 18 percent of the city’s total registration – do not have PennDot ID.
Under Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law, various other forms of photo identification will be accepted at voting places in November, including U.S. passports, student identification cards with expiration dates, current military identification, and ID cards issued to government employees. But for most voters, the Pennsylvania driver’s license is the standard photo ID. The disclosure that 9 percent of the state’s registered voters don’t have one – or an alternative, nondriver PennDot photo ID – provides a clearer picture of the hurdle set up by the state’s new voter ID requirement.
Republican lawmakers pushed the bill through the legislature in March and it was signed into law by Gov. Corbett, over protests from Democrats that the measure would disenfranchise thousands of voters, disproportionately affecting those without driver’s licenses – the poor, the elderly, and the young. House Republican leader Mike Turzai acknowledged the law’s political implications at a Republican State Committee meeting last month. “Voter ID – which is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania – done,” Turzai told the crowd, which burst into applause, as he listed legislative accomplishments under GOP control.
Full Article: Voter ID law may hit more in Pa. than originally estimated.