Every year Pennsylvania announces its new inductees to the "Voter Hall of Fame" that recognizes individuals who have voted in 50 consecutive elections.
Since the list's creation, 21,000 inductees have been honored for their "commitment to democracy" and of those 5,923 are still living. Now the AFL-CIO reports that one quarter of the living inductees may not be able to cast their ballots this fall under the requirements of the new voter ID law.
The union group matched the database of inductees listed on the Department of State website with the Pennsylvania voter file and found 1,384 voters either have no PennDOT ID or have an ID that expired prior to Nov. 6, 2011.
The state says it is committed to ensuring every registered voter can vote this fall. PennDOT is issuing free non-driver voter IDs to those with birth certificates, Social Security cards and proof of residence and the agency has said it will accept expired licenses dating to 1990 as proof for new non-driver ID. By the end of the month the Department of State will issue a "last resort" voter ID if an individual provides proof of residence and signs an oath that they have exhausted all other avenues.
But the AFL-CIO points out there may be many who voted in every election since 1961 who may very well be prevented from voting for the first time if they are unaware of the new law or unable to obtain the proper ID in time for the election.
Of the 1.6 million voters in Pennsylvania who do not have a valid PennDOT ID according to Department of State figures, over 79,000 of them have voted in every general election since 2000. Only a paltry 7.5% of total Pennsylvania voters share that distinction, the group says.
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