Pennsylvania Voters Have a New Deadline

Brentin Mock, columnist for ColorLines, looks at Pennsylvania's new voting laws, which may knock numerous voters out of the booth.

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Adding to the long list of states attacking voter laws, Pennsylvania, argues Colorlines contributor Brentin Mock, is using photo ID expiration dates as a weapon. The state's Gov. Tom Corbett recently signed a bill into law that is supposed to tackle voter fraud, and Pennsylvania's Secretary of State Carol Aichele is tasked with its publicity.

Aichele's Erie visit was part of a state tour to educate voters about what they'd need for compliance with law and for the ability to exercise their right to vote. One of the IDs acceptable for voting is a state employee photo identification card. However, the law also says that IDs must have a current expiration date for voter eligibility, and the state employee cards do not. Aichele seemed to overlook this paradox in her education drive.

"Pennsylvania Secretary of State Carol Aichele showed her state photo ID, which is not acceptable for voting because it doesn't have an expiration date," wrote the editorial board after she showed hers to them. It must have been humiliating for the secretary who was promoting the new law and her own example didn't hold muster. It's bad enough mandating that voters have ID cards, but to add the additional restriction that the ID needs an expiration date makes it even more obtrusive. The editorial says that 10 percent of Pennsylvanians, or 88,000, do not have a valid photo ID — though that number is contested and is thought to be much larger.

Read Brentin Mock's entire piece at Colorlines.

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