New Data Suggest Hundreds of Thousands Could Be Disenfranchised by Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law

Download a PDF Version of this Briefing Paper

New state data show that 759,000 registered voters lack photo identification issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). With a new Voter ID Law now in effect in Pennsylvania, a large number of Pennsylvanians could be disenfranchised if they have no other acceptable ID or are unable to get a state-issued ID by Election Day.

Almost one in five Philadelphia voters lack a PennDOT-issued ID, the data show. However, this is not an issue limited to Philadelphia. More than one in 10 voters lack PennDOT identification in Cameron, Cumberland, Lackawanna, Centre, Allegheny, Montour, Union, Delaware and Lawrence counties. The full list of counties can be found at the bottom of this page or downloaded as a PDF here.

In 2006, PennDOT estimated that 691,909 otherwise eligible Pennsylvanians did not hold a driver's or non-driver's photo ID. The most recent data are consistent with that earlier analysis. 

The new data raise questions about the effectiveness of administration outreach efforts on the new Voter ID Law and whether this many people will be able to secure acceptable identification before November 6, 2012, without significant changes to the process.

Share of Registered Voters without PennDOT ID
July 2012
County Total Count of All Voters[1] Total Voters Without ID[2] Pct with no PennDOT ID
PHILADELPHIA 1,028,818 186,830 18.2%
CAMERON 3,693 452 12.2%
CUMBERLAND 153,809 18,477 12.0%
LACKAWANNA 147,177 16,923 11.5%
CENTRE 102,261 11,442 11.2%
ALLEGHENY 892,579 99,218 11.1%
MONTOUR 13,274 1,470 11.1%
UNION 22,277 2,435 10.9%
DELAWARE 384,431 40,547 10.5%
LAWRENCE 60,973 6,401 10.5%
SCHUYLKILL 84,991 8,154 9.6%
CLINTON 22,197 2,102 9.5%
CRAWFORD 53,598 5,007 9.3%
FAYETTE 90,603 8,455 9.3%
BEAVER 113,447 10,265 9.0%
NORTHAMPTON 202,541 18,062 8.9%
LUZERNE 189,900 16,869 8.9%
SOMERSET 51,194 4,538 8.9%
INDIANA 53,110 4,571 8.6%
ELK 20,208 1,725 8.5%
BLAIR 83,993 7,166 8.5%
JEFFERSON 28,094 2,358 8.4%
MONTGOMERY 539,122 44,952 8.3%
McKEAN 25,532 2,128 8.3%
COLUMBIA 38,536 3,195 8.3%
WASHINGTON 140,035 11,246 8.0%
MERCER 73,826 5,800 7.9%
CLEARFIELD 50,854 3,893 7.7%
CLARION 23,736 1,810 7.6%
CAMBRIA 85,736 6,207 7.2%
NORTHUMBERLAND 54,428 3,846 7.1%
BEDFORD 31,767 2,226 7.0%
CHESTER 326,384 22,475 6.9%
POTTER 10,805 744 6.9%
YORK 273,560 18,763 6.9%
LANCASTER 305,169 20,054 6.6%
ARMSTRONG 41,647 2,728 6.6%
FULTON 9,184 586 6.4%
DAUPHIN 174,382 11,091 6.4%
WARREN 28,888 1,830 6.3%
ERIE 172,280 10,913 6.3%
BUTLER 119,609 7,445 6.2%
BRADFORD 40,305 2,496 6.2%
HUNTINGDON 28,441 1,742 6.1%
CARBON 38,058 2,286 6.0%
BUCKS 425,992 25,449 6.0%
LEHIGH 218,295 13,025 6.0%
VENANGO 32,388 1,929 6.0%
MONROE 106,090 6,278 5.9%
WYOMING 16,972 995 5.9%
TIOGA 25,531 1,428 5.6%
GREENE 22,347 1,237 5.5%
WESTMORELAND 233,903 12,876 5.5%
PIKE 40,927 2,252 5.5%
LYCOMING 66,697 3,637 5.5%
BERKS 244,106 12,351 5.1%
ADAMS 59,662 2,921 4.9%
MIFFLIN 23,964 1,146 4.8%
FOREST 3,223 154 4.8%
SNYDER 20,797 975 4.7%
WAYNE 32,113 1,470 4.6%
LEBANON 79,662 3,308 4.2%
SULLIVAN 4,193 173 4.1%
FRANKLIN 85,355 3,255 3.8%
SUSQUEHANNA 25,849 946 3.7%
PERRY 26,796 848 3.2%
JUNIATA 13,440 363 2.7%
TOTAL 8,243,754 758,939 9.2%

Endnotes

[1] PA Department of State, Registered voters as of July 2, 2012 (accessed July 5, 2012), http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/http;//www.portal.state.pa.us;80/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_160329_1204422_0_0_18/currentvotestats.xlsx

[2] PA Department of State, "Department of State and PennDOT Confirm Most Registered Voters Have Photo ID," July 3, 2012, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/http;//www.portal.state.pa.us;80/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_879406_1265323_0_0_18/rls-DOS-VoterIDConfirm-070312%20(2).pdf