Six percent of Lehigh County's registered voters do not have Pennsylvania driver's licenses or non-driver's license photo IDs that will be required for voting in the November presidential election, according to newly released state data.
Of the 216,828 registered voters in Lehigh County:
- 9,873 active voters do not have PennDOT ID numbers, the state said.
- 3,152 inactive voters -- those who have not voted since at least 2007 -- do not have driver's licenses or non-driver's license photo IDs.
With Pennsylvania's controversial Voter ID law set to take effect for the November general election, the Pennsylvania Department of State compared voter registration rolls and PennDOT databases to determine who had a PennDOT ID number. The Department of State released its findings county by county.
Democrats have argued the new Voter ID law, which will require voters to present proof of identification for every election, will disenfranchise voters without proper identification. Republicans counter it will fight voter fraud.
State lawmakers passed the legislation in March, and voters had a trial run in the May primary, when they were asked to present ID.
According to the Department of State comparison:
- 91 percent of Pennsylvania's 8,232,928 registered voters have PennDOT ID numbers, and 9 percent, or 758,939 voters, do not.
- Of the 9 percent who could not be matched between databases, 167,566 are inactive voters, meaning they have not voted since at least 2007.
All voters identified as not having a PennDOT ID number will be contacted by letter this summer, reminding them of the new voter ID law, what IDs are acceptable for voting purposes and how to get a free ID if they don't have one.
County election directors will also be provided with the names and addresses of voters in their counties who did not match any record in the PennDOT database.
In a prepared release, Commonwealth Secretary Carol Aichele said most Pennsylvanians have acceptable photo ID for casting ballots in the November election. “This comparison takes into account only voters with PennDOT IDs," she noted, "and does not include voters who may have any of the other various acceptable forms of ID.”
Other forms of identificaiton that will be accepted at the polls include identification from accredited Pennsylvania colleges or universities, Pennsylvania care facilities, military identification, valid U.S. passports, other photo identification issued by the federal or Pennsylvania government, or employee identification issued by the federal, Pennsylvania, or a county or municipal government.
All identification used for voting must have an expiration date and be current, except for Pennsylvania driver's licenses or non-driver photo identification, which are valid for voting purposes one year past their expiration. Retired military identification with an indefinite expiration date is also valid for voting purposes.
More information on the Voter ID law is available at VotesPa or by calling 1-877-VotesPa.