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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

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.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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