Voter ID Coalition’s canvassing effort launches Saturday in Germantown

The Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition will kick-off its door-to-door outreach effort this Saturday in the city’s Germantown neighborhood.

The grassroots organization, which represents more than 100 groups statewide, has formed in an effort to help voters who may be disenfranchised by the state’s controversial voter-identification law.

More than 180,000 voters in Philadelphia could be ineligible to vote under the new law, according to figures recently released by the Pennsylvania Department of State. The law requires that all voters present valid photo ID at the polls before casting a ballot.

Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration maintains that the legislation, which was signed into law in mid-March, will help cut down on instances of voter fraud.

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Outreach effort begins

On Saturday, volunteers will load onto buses and head for the city’s 17th Ward following a 10 a.m. orientation at the Coalition’s headquarters at 310 W. Chelten Ave.

They’ll be targeting voters who appeared on the Department of State’s list in a ward that, roughly bounded by Broad and Windrim streets and 66th and Chelten Avenues, covers areas of Germantown, East Germantown, West Oak Lane, Logan and surrounding neighborhoods.

Canvassing is expected to last approximately two hours.

Litigation continues

A Commonwealth Court judge is expected to rule next week on whether the law is constitutional. The ACLU of Pennsylvania and others filed a lawsuit challenging the measure on those grounds.

No matter what the decision, an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is expected.

In the meantime, Ellen Kaplan with the Committee of Seventy said it is important that education efforts move forward.

“We don’t know when the Supreme Court is going to rule, so the message we’re sending to voters is, ‘Go get your ID,'” she said.

The Presidential election is Nov. 6. Voters must be registered by Oct. 9.

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