The vast majority of registered voters in Pennsylvania have identification that can be used for voting, according to a recent comparison of the Department of State’s voter registration rolls and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation ID databases. The departments released the data as the state faces a lawsuit from the ACLU and other groups over the law, which was approved this past spring.
“This thorough comparison of databases confirms that most Pennsylvanians have acceptable photo ID for voting this November,” Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele said. “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.”
But just last week, state Rep. Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, the House’s Democratic Floor Leader, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to intervene to stop the new Pennsylvania Voter ID Law from taking effect this November.
“I respectfully request that you use the full authority and power of your office to stop this travesty from moving forward,” Dermody wrote to Holder. “I ask that you review the Pennsylvania Voter ID Law to determine whether it complies with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the U.S. Constitution.”
Dermody noted that the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters, the Pennsylvania Conference of the NAACP and the Homeless Advocacy Project filed a lawsuit on behalf of 10 Pennsylvania registered voters who will be denied their right to vote through this law. More than 50 members of the state House Democratic Caucus signed a “friend of the court” brief in support of the groups.
The Department of State said that all voters identified as not having a PennDOT ID number will be contacted by letter this summer, reminding them of the new voter ID law, which IDs are acceptable for voting purposes and how to get a free ID if they don’t have one.
County election directors will also be provided with the names and addresses of voters in their counties who did not match any record in the PennDOT database.
According to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer citing data released last week by state election officials, more than 758,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania do not have photo ID from the state Transportation Department. The figures represent 9.2 percent of the state’s 8.2 million voters, the article said.