44 percent of Philly's population is African-American—and nearly 20 percent of voters there may lose the right to cast a ballot this fall.
by AURA BOGADA, The Nation
We’ve seen state officials around the country flat-out lie about the imaginary problem of voter fraud—and we’ve seen how people of color and other marginalized groups stand to have their rights swiftly confiscated in the process. This time, voters in Pennsylvania will feel the brunt of a bill signed into law this past March, which may disenfranchise nearly 10 percent of voters statewide and 18 percent of voters in Philadelphia.
Although Secretary of Commonwealth Carol Aichele has repeatedly stated that 99 percent of Pennsylvania voters were already in possession of the identification needed to comply with the new law, her numbers were way off. The deliberate or accidental overestimate means that the state is stuck with a law that will potentially disenfranchise 758,939 voters.
In a press release dubiously titled “Department of State and PennDOT Confirm Most Registered Voters Have Photo ID,” issued Tuesday, her own office illustrates that more than 180,000 of Philadelphia’s voters lack the proper ID to cast a ballot. More than 44 percent of Philadelphia is African-American.
Pennsylvania’s strict voter ID law means that only certain forms of identification are acceptable. Even government-issued photo ID cards without an expiration date aren’t acceptable. A hearing on the voter ID bill is scheduled for July 25. [MORE]