Editorial: Do the math

When Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. de­livered an opin­ion earli­er this month up­hold­ing  Pennsylvania’s new Voter Iden­ti­fic­a­tion law, he must have for­got­ten to look at the cal­en­dar.
Even the most simple math shows that there is not enough time for every­one who needs a photo ID to get one be­fore the Nov. 6 elec­tion.
PennDOT’s driver’s li­cense cen­ters will be­gin is­su­ing those photo IDs this Monday. When you factor in the num­ber of days those cen­ters will be closed for hol­i­days, you’ll see that only 57 days re­main for a voter with no photo ID to get one.
There are 71 driver’s li­cense cen­ters in the state, and most are only open five days a week, though some are open for six days. For ar­gu­ment’s sake, we’ll say they are all open for six days, and they all op­er­ate for 7 ¾ hours.
And, be­cause we be­lieve in giv­ing the be­ne­fit of the doubt, we’ll sup­pose  that PennDOT will as­sign one per­son in each cen­ter to handle only these photo IDs, though there has been no such an­nounce­ment as the agency fig­ures out how to pro­ceed.
All of this adds up to a total 31,264 hours these po­ten­tial voters have to get their IDs be­fore Elec­tion Day. The state has es­tim­ated that there are 750,000 people who are without photo IDs, and right now in­eligible to vote.
If you do the math, you’ll see that each per­son would have to get in and out of a PennDOT cen­ter in 2.5 minutes, if all 750,000 people showed up to get their photo IDs. It’s simply not pos­sible.
The state Su­preme Court should delay im­ple­ment­a­tion of the new law un­til the next elec­tion cycle. Let’s wait and do this right.
Send let­ters to: pronews@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at staff@bsmphilly.com.

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