The PA AFL-CIO has a new study out today finding that 1 out of 4 living members of the Pennsylvania Voter Hall of Fame don’t have proper Voter ID. These are not just “super voters” that campaigns talk about all the time—these are super-mega-ultra-voters from the Pennsylvania Department of State “Voter Hall of Fame” list which includes the names of over 21,000 inductees who have voted in 50 consecutive elections.
From the Pennsylvania Department of State Web Site:
“The Voter Hall of Fame inductees hold a special place in Pennsylvania history. They bridge generations – from a time of war and depression to one of peace and prosperity – and understand how precious our freedoms truly are. For 50 years, they have placed their responsibilities as citizens of this Commonwealth first. We are grateful for their lifelong commitment to democracy, and we proudly induct them into the Pennsylvania Voter Hall of Fame.”
The database displays the full name, county, and city of residence for each inductee. By comparing this list to the Pennsylvania Voter File, the PA AFL-CIO was able to definitively match 5923 inductees to current, living Pennsylvania voters.
According to the study, of those 5923 individuals, 1384 of them are on the recently obtained lists of Pennsylvania voters who either have no PennDOT ID, or who have an ID which expired prior to Nov 6th 2011 and will be invalid for voting this November.
Yuri Beckelman, the Pennsylvania Campaign Communications Director for the AFL-CIO, said that “these are 1384 individuals who have not missed a general election since at least 1961 – but who may very well be prevented from voting for the first time this year – if they are unaware of the new Voter ID Law, or unable to obtain the proper ID in time for the election.”
Beckelman went on to explain that the problem does not stop there.
Of the 1.6 million voters in Pennsylvania who do not have a valid PennDOT ID according to Department of State figures, there are over 79,000 of them who have voted in every general election since 2000 – a distinction that only 7.5% of Pennsylvania voters share.
***For my fellow data nerds out there, the PA AFL-CIO’s match was based on First, Middle, and Last Name, Name Suffix (i.e. Jr, Sr), City, and County. If an inductee from the Voter Hall of Fame potentially matched more than one record from the PA Voter File, the PA AFL-CIO did not include them in their analysis. They also matched a portion of these voters without consideration for middle name – only if a middle name was not provided from either the Hall of Fame inductee list or the PA Voter File – they never matched two individuals with different middle names. From the Voter File side, they only considered possible matches who were at least 68 years old (required to have voted in 50 consecutive elections), and who voted in the 2011 general election. This was done in an effort to restrict their analysis to still living voters.