500,000 Pa. voters lack state ID, statistician testifies in court challenge

    Testimony in the trial over the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s voter identification law is getting knee-deep in the statistical analysis of who among the state’s registered voters doesn’t have valid ID.

    Lawyers challenging the law in Commonwealth Court have said it could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania voters.

    Now they’re presenting evidence to back up their claim.

    A statistician said Tuesday his conservative estimate shows more than half-a-million registered voters don’t have any forms of the state-issued ID they would need to cast a ballot in the upcoming general election.

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    Of that number, nearly half have no state ID on record at all — neither a license issued by PennDOT, nor a special voting ID from the Department of State.

    The defense will present its own expert to rebut the estimate.

    Speaking on behalf of the state’s lawyers, Nils Hagen-Frederiksen said there is nothing wrong with the statistician, or the quality of his study.

    “He did the math that they asked him to do,” he said Tuesday afternoon. “Our argument is the entire premise of their math is flawed, because it overlooks the primary principle which is 100 percent of the people who need a photo ID can get a photo ID and can get one today.”

    The state’s lawyers say the half-a-million figure is inflated and could include voters who may have valid voting ID issued by the military, nursing homes, or Pennsylvania universities.

    But the statistician who took the stand says that even if such people were accounted for, it wouldn’t greatly reduce his estimate that hundreds of thousands of voters lack the proper photo ID needed to vote.

    The plaintiff’s statistician has testified his estimate also shows registered voters without ID are disproportionately minorities, more than 90 years old, and registered Democrats.

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