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.
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