|Simple rule: No photo ID, no voting booth|
New data released by Pennsylvania officials suggests that as many as 750,000 voters in the crucial battleground territory could be impacted by a stringent new voter ID law.Or, if I were to write the story with a different slant:
The law, passed this May ostensibly to prevent voter fraud, requires all voters in Pennsylvania to show a valid photo ID at the polls.
Among those acceptable forms of photo ID include a state-issued driver's license, a valid U.S. passport, a U.S. military ID, a government-issued employee ID, an ID card from an accredited Pennsylvania higher learning institution, or a photo ID card issued by a Pennsylvania care facility, such as an assisted living residence or personal care home.
According to the survey, 758,939 voters - 9.2 percent - could not be matched in state databases as having Pennsylvania driver's licenses, the most common form of photo ID in the state.
Of those 9.2 percent, about 22 percent - or 167,566 people - are categorized as "inactive" voters, according to the data. A person can be characterized as an "inactive" voter if he or she has not voted in five years and has not responded to a state inquiry about his or her current address. Federal and state law also mandate that an "inactive voter" be kept on the state registration list until he or she fails to vote in two consecutive general elections for federal office following the notification.
"Even though many voters identified in this comparison as not having PennDOT IDs are 'inactive voters', most of whom have not voted since 2007, we will err on the side of caution and include them in this mailing," said Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele in a statement released alongside the study.
Even if voters are classified as "inactive" with 100 percent accuracy, however, that leaves nearly 600,000 "active" voters who lack driver's licenses and may not be able to cast their votes on Election Day.
So, free ID's with some proof of residency and proof of citizenship.Approximately 600,000 prospective voters in Pennsylvania need to get off their butts and find their way to a government office at which they can be issued a free photo ID capable of meeting the PA voting standards. "If they are too lazy or inept to get this done, it is doubtful that they should be voting in any case," said I.M. Ahack, a voting analyst from the University of Upper Yursnow, who continued, "After all if they can't find time between now and November to get a photo ID it's kind of sign of a lack of interest, don't you think?"Another 167,566 former voters seem to have disappeared from the state as they haven't voted in PA in over 5 years and also haven't responded to state efforts to see if they are interested in voting. "Some of them may have moved out of state, gone to prison or died," theorized S.T. Atfreq from the voter registration section of the Demopublican party. "If they have died or moved, it'll be harder to get them registered, I suppose. Given that 750,000 total number reported by PennDOT only refers to those "voters" without driver's licenses it is possible that this whole report is a joke, because there are so many other forms of acceptable ID that some or all of these people may have. After all, I think you need some sort of photo ID to do everything in our society, like have a bank account, travel on an airplane, enter a federal building, and the like, so I think these numbers are way off."
The forms of ID allowed under PA law:
Acceptable PHOTO IDs include:
1. A PA driver's license: currently valid or expired less than 12 months at the time the voter is casting a vote.
2. An ID issued by PennDOT: currently valid or expired less than 12 months at the time the voter is casting a vote.
3. A currently valid U.S. passport. Expired passports will not be accepted.
4. An active duty or retired U.S. military ID, including an ID for members of the PA National Guard: an indefinite expiration date will be accepted.
5. A currently valid military dependent’s ID. Expired IDs will not be accepted.
6. A currently valid employee ID issued by federal, PA, PA county or PA municipal government. Expired IDs will not be accepted.
7. A currently valid ID issued by an accredited PA university, college, seminary, community college or two-year college to students, faculty, employees and alumni. Expired IDs will not be accepted.
8. A currently valid ID issued by a PA care facility (such as a long-term care nursing facility, assisted living residence or a personal care home). The ID must have the name of the facility. Expired IDs will not be accepted.
B. What are acceptable IDs for voters With a religious objection to being photographed?
Voters can still vote by presenting a currently valid non-photo driver’s license or other non-photo ID issued by PennDOT. Expired IDs will not be accepted.
C. How can voters obtain a photo ID if they don’t have one?
Unless PennDOT has information about a voter in its computer database, as explained in Question D. below, voters who do not have an acceptable form of photo ID (see Question A. above) must go to a PennDOT Driver’s License Center to obtain one. This process is free of charge.
IN ADDITION, voters must produce:
1. A social security card, and
2. An official birth certificate (with a raised seal), certificate of U.S. citizenship, certificate of naturalization or a valid U.S. passport,* and
3. Two proofs of residency, such as a lease agreement, mortgage documents, W-2 form, tax records or current utility bill. Note: Voters who still live at home may not have their name on any lease agreements or mortgage documents. The voter should bring a person with whom he/she are living, along with that person’s driver’s license or photo ID, to a PennDOT Driver’s License Center as one proof of residency. For the second proof of residency, the voter can show a bank statement, paystub or credit card bill.
*As indicated in Question A. above, a valid U.S. passport is an acceptable photo ID to bring to the polls. Any voter who has a valid U.S. passport does not have to obtain a photo ID for voting. However, since a valid U.S. passport is listed as one of the proofs of identity on the state’s website, we are also including it here.
I can see how that is really a burden . . .