Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The state AFL-CIO, has released a new report on the ramifications of Pennsylvania's voter-ID bill. The finding: Senior citizens "are much less likely to possess a valid PennDOT ID than the overall population."
The AFL-CIO estimates that among voters 65 and over, more than one in eight may lack ID. And while the state's voter ID law allows nursing homes to issue IDs that can be used at polls, the AFL-CIO estimates that fewer than one-fifth of seniors would be helped by the provision.
Those of us in southwest PA have special reason to pay attention. A map compiled for the AFL-CIO report suggests that seniors in Allegheny, Washington, and Fayette counties are all especially at risk. (Contrast that with the apparently well-documented spring chickens in Westmoreland.)
This might be a good place for a caveat. While the state's early predictions about how many voters lack ID were certainly too low, I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that some of the predictions being made by opponents are way too high. I mean, maybe Philadelphia is more fucked up than even I'm willing to give it credit for, but could 43 percent of voters there really lack ID? Not sure that passes the smell test. In a recent survey of 101 people the state said lacked photo ID, for example, the Philadelphia Inquirer found that roughly three-quarters had actually had it.
But then, I guess this is what happens when you pass a law to "solve" a "problem" that you don't bother to "study" first, because it may not actually "exist."