Good posts by Abby Rapoport about the vote suppression in Pennsylvania as well as the gaps in the Voting Rights Act that will prevent the DOJ from stopping vote suppression in many states. The stakes of the Pennsylvania battle are considerable:
But as it turns out, the number of voters in Pennsylvania who might get disenfranchised is huge. The state law requires a government-issued photo id with an expiration date. The law was geared toward voters using an ID issued by the state Department of Transportation. During the debates earlier this year, the governor’s office said that 99 percent of state voters already had such an ID. But when the secretary of the commonwealth did a study in early July, it showed that as many as 758,000 people—or 9 percent of voters—didn’t have an ID from the Department of Transportation. Other studies estimate that there could be a million Pennsylvania voters without ID. That’s more than the margin of victory Barack Obama had in 2008.
And, of course, there’s “basically no evidence of in-person voter fraud,” which isn’t surprising since even in theory it would be impossible to do on a scale that could have any effect on an election. (It’s hard enough to mobilize eligible voters.) Don’t take my word for it — ask the state itself:
Additionally, the agreement states Pennsylvania “will not offer any evidence in this action that in-person voter fraud has in fact occurred in Pennsylvania and elsewhere” or even argue “that in person voter fraud is likely to occur in November 2012 in the absence of the Photo ID law.”
If voter-ID laws had anything to do with preventing voter fraud, this would be a damning admission.