Pennsylvanians will be required to show government-issued photo identification in order to cast votes in November, thanks to a GOP-supported voter ID law signed by Gov. Tom Corbett (R) earlier this year. While supporters argued that it was a simple measure meant to combat voter fraud, figures released this week show that the law may affect more than 750,000 Pennsylvanians who don't currently possess identification cards issued by the state Department of Transportation Department.
According to the report, which compared voter registration rolls with transportation department ID databases, more than 758,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania have no driver's license -- a primary form of identification. That's 9.2 percent of the state's 8.2 million voters, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. In Philadelphia, the state's biggest city, that number balloons to 18 percent of the city's total voting population -- around 186,830 registered voters, according to the newspaper.
The Corbett administration maintained earlier that 99 percent of Pennsylvania voters already had proper identification, and therefore wouldn't need to take additional steps to cast their ballots. The voter ID law does allow for the use of other forms of identification, including U.S. passports, student ID cards with expiration dates and military ID. Because of that, state officials have shown little concern over the latest numbers.
“This thorough comparison of databases confirms that most Pennsylvanians have acceptable photo ID for voting this November,” Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele said in a news release. “This comparison takes into account only voters with PennDot IDs, and does not include voters who may have any of the other various acceptable forms of ID.”
it's hard to believe that that there are so many people there without any form of proper ID. do those people just live totally off the grid? it seems to do anything, like bank or have a proper job you'd have to have at least a State ID.
This is a common misconception. The working poor live in a cash society that involves little to no banking. They don't travel by airplane. They use other items for their limited ID needs -- in most cases, a utility bill will work. When you pay rent week to week, cash your paychecks at stores that exist specifically for that, don't save, don't travel and live effectively hand to mouth, you have no need for an ID.
Also, many, many elderly people don't have a valid ID because they don't drive or travel often, and most places accept expired IDs when dealing with the elderly.
Finally, many young people would also be prevented from voting because the addresses on your ID and your voter registration must match perfectly -- so young people, and poor people, who move repeatedly during the year would have to be extremely vigilant about updating all their registrations, and often updating your voters registration address requires trips to inconveniently located government offices during "normal" working hours.
These laws are a terrible regression of the right of people to vote. They are presented as an attempt to "solve" a problem that simply isn't an issue in American elections — fraudulent voting by way of voter impersonation. There *is* voter fraud in America, but these laws won't solve it, as most fraudulent ballots are submitted through the mail.
Of course, it just so happens that the hardship from this new law will fall almost entirely on people likely to support one political party. Surely a coincidence.