Poll cited in hearing finds third of Pa. voters unaware of photo ID law

    Lawyers suing Pennsylvania to toss out its voter ID law say a poll taken just weeks ago casts doubt on the success rate of any push to educate voters about the new requirements.

    The survey was commissioned by the ACLU.

    Vic Walczak, legal director of the group’s Pennsylvania chapter, says it shows between 11 and 13 percent of the commonwealth’s eligible voters, registered voters, and people who voted in 2008 believed they have the photo ID they need to vote in November.

    But, he says, the survey finds they actually don’t.

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    “If you think you have the right kind of ID, you’re not going to be paying attention to somebody telling you, ‘You need ID, you need a certain kind of ID,'” Walczak said.

    The poll also showed a third of respondents aren’t aware of the controversial voter ID law.

    The university professor directing the survey says any voter education campaign will have a low rate of success.

    He says state ads will have to compete with political ads on crowded airwaves as the general election campaign season kicks into high gear.

    In cross-examination, the commonwealth’s attorney says such testimony makes assumptions of what the education campaign will entail.

    Also testifying Thursday, a Department of State employee says the commonwealth’s original report that 1 percent of the electorate lacks PennDOT photo ID was the result of an estimate made in one day, upon the request of the state House lawmakers last year.

    The revised estimate issued within the last month shows as much as 9 percent of the electorate, or 759,000 registered voters, lack the proper PennDOT ID.

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