PHILADELPHIA, July 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A growing broad-based coalition of 100 statewide, regional and local organizations today strongly urged Governor Corbett to delay implementation of Pennsylvania's new voter ID law, which requires all state voters to show photo identification each and every time they go to the polls.
Speaking on behalf of several members of the coalition, Barry Kauffman, Executive Director of Common Cause PA, said the plea for delay follows this week's stunning revelation that 9.2 percent of the state's 8.2 million registered voters – nine times more than state officials originally estimated – do not have photo identification cards issued by the state Transportation Department (PennDOT), the most common form of identification voters will bring to the polls on November 6, when the law goes into full effect.
In Philadelphia, 18 percent, or nearly one in five (186,830) of the city's just over one million registered voters, do not have PennDOT-issued photo identification cards. Between 10 percent and 12 percent of voters in nine other Pennsylvania counties are similarly impacted. County-by-county data is available at:http://pennbpc.org/new-data-suggests-hundreds-thousands-could-be-disenfranchised-pennsylvania%E2%80%99s-voter-id-law
Kauffman also expressed deep concern that state lawmakers who passed the voter ID law in March relied upon inaccurate information that 99 percent of voters would not be negatively impacted.
According to Elizabeth McElroy, Secretary-Treasurer of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, the 100 members of the PA Voter ID Coalition are conducting an aggressive non-partisan statewide campaign to educate voters about the voter ID law and to help them obtain acceptable forms of photo identification. "The new data shows there is a significant hurdle to over three quarters of a million Pennsylvanians who do not already have valid forms of photo identification," said McElroy.
Olivia Thorne, President of the League of Women Voters of PA, added that urging Governor Corbett to delay implementation of the law – at least for one year – will give state and local officials sufficient time to ensure that the dramatically higher number of affected voters will not be stripped of their fundamental right to vote.
Kauffman, McElroy and Thorne underscored that the new voter ID law impacts all state voters, regardless of party affiliation or the candidates they support. "Every voter in Pennsylvania needs to know what the new law requires," Kauffman concluded. "But four months until the presidential election in November is a very short time frame to reach what we now know are hundreds of thousands of voters who will actually need to get photo identification in order to vote."
This press release is endorsed by:
Advancement Project, Rich Robinson, Communications Manager for Voter Protection, (202) 728-9557, ext. 338 (office); (202) 696-3406 (cell)
ACLU of PA, Sara Mullen, Associate Director, (215) 592-1513, ext. 122 (office)
Philadelphia AFL-CIO, Elizabeth McElroy, Secretary-Treasurer, (215) 665-9800 (office); (267) 455-8191 (cell)
Committee of Seventy, Ellen Mattleman Kaplan, VP and Policy Director, (215) 557-3600, ext. 102 (office); 215-470-8316 (cell)
Common Cause/PA, Barry Kauffman, Executive Director, (717) 232-9951 (office)
League of Women Voters PA, Olivia Thorne, President, (610) 212-5111 (cell)
SOURCE Committee of Seventy
CONTACT: Ellen Mattleman Kaplan, VP and Policy Director, +1-215-557-3600, ext. 102, +1-215-470-8316 (cell)
Pennsylvania Urged To Delay Voter ID Law
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