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Archive for August 25th, 2012

Pennsylvania’s Vote Chaos Shows Minnesota’s Future If Voter ID Amendment Passes

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 25, 2012

Anyone wonder what would happen to voting in the State of Minnesota should the ALEC-and-Kiffmeyer-inspired voter suppression (aka “voter ID”) amendment is passed? Here’s a taste, courtesy of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

This summer, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center recruited volunteers to visit PennDOT offices across the Commonwealth and tell us about their experiences trying to obtain free photo ID under the new law. The results of that survey are in our new report, Pennsylvania’s Identity Crisis: Rushed Implementation of Voter ID Law Puts Voting Rights at Risk.

Volunteers visited 43 PennDOT centers in 27 counties across the commonwealth, representing three-quarters of the state’s population. They completed a survey that looked at very simple things: whether there was signage, if forms were available, if there was information that the IDs could be available for free, if volunteers got accurate information. We were surprised just how difficult it was for our volunteers to get the right information and the right forms — and they knew exactly what to ask for.

The report finds that voters are likely to be frustrated in their attempts to secure a free ID from PennDOT. Some volunteers found the offices weren’t open the first time they visited and they had to return another time. There was no signage and limited information in half the sites, and the forms needed to secure a free ID were not available most of the time. In almost half the cases, voters received information that proved to be incomplete or inaccurate from staff at the centers. Problems were as likely to occur in Franklin and Luzerne counties as in Philadelphia or Allegheny County.

Even worse, the Pennsylvania Department of State is rolling out a new form of ID this coming week, and the timing could not have been worse — unless, of course, suppressing voters and turnout is the goal.

We can avoid this hellish mess simply by voting “no” on the voter ID amendment.

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