Voter ID: Applewhite v. Commonwealth


Lawyers Issue Response to Commonwealth’s New Voter ID Plan

The Law Center, along with our partners at the ACLU, the Advancement Project, and Arnold & Porter, have released a response to the Commonwealth’s announcement that it plans to make available a voter identification card- the details of which are unclear- for voters who do not have the necessary documents to obtain PennDOT ID.

“Clearly the state realizes it has a huge problem on its hands. Unfortunately, this isn’t the solution. People born in Pennsylvania without birth certificates will still have to make three trips to vote – two to PennDOT and one to the polls. That is assuming they have the other materials they need, such as their Social Security number.

This does not change the fact that the Commonwealth is expecting people without drivers licenses to somehow get to PennDOT centers – sometimes miles from their homes – during limited hours. It certainly is of no help to the elderly or those with disabilities who will still have to find a way to PennDOT and potentially wait hours to get the new ID.

PennDOT is simply not equipped to handle an influx of hundreds of thousands of individuals needing ID. Using the Department of State’s own figures for the number of individuals without PennDOT ID, PennDOT would have to issue over 15,000 ID cards every business day between August 26, the date the procedure is supposed to take effect, and Election Day.

This does nothing to address the supposed problem of in-person voter fraud – it just puts an extra hurdle in people’s way as they try to exercise their right to vote.”