Sunday, August 2, 2015

Survey: 96.5 percent of Philly voters in 2012 would've had voter ID if law was in effect

An unscientific exit poll of Philadelphia voters in the Nov. 6 general election found that 96.5 percent said they would have had the proper identification to meet the state's voter-ID law, which was delayed through a court injunction.

Survey: 96.5 percent of Philly voters in 2012 would've had voter ID if law was in effect

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A screen grab from a map showing the Philadelphia suburbs voted in General Election 2012.
A screen grab from a map showing the Philadelphia suburbs voted in General Election 2012.

An unscientific exit poll of Philadelphia voters in the Nov. 6 general election found that 96.5 percent said they would have had the proper identification to meet the state’s voter-ID law, which was delayed through a court injunction.

The poll of about 4,800 voters, conducted by the nonpartisan Committee of Seventy, had many methodological limitations and should not be considered an authoritative look at the election, said Zack Stalberg, the committee’s president.

Still, “it seems that most of those people who came to the polls on Election Day were prepared to show voter ID, so that would make one side of the argument happy,” said Stalberg, referring to supporters of the GOP-backed law.

Another key finding was that the court-ordered “soft roll-out” of the voter-ID law, in which poll workers were supposed to ask for ID but allow those who didn’t have it to vote anyway, essentially did not happen, according to the survey. Only about 9 percent of respondents said they were asked to show photo ID.

Limitations on the survey include that it was not weighted proportionally to fit the city’s demographic or geographic makeup.

It also could not take into account how many people without ID chose not to go to register or vote because they thought the voter-ID law would prevent them from doing so.

Additionally, surveyors did not verify whether the voters actually had proper ID, meaning some respondents might have said they had the right kind of ID when in fact they did not.

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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