Thursday, October 25, 2012

One in three voters ... (what this blog is about)

More than 280,000 Philadelphia voters -- one in three active voters in the birthplace of American democracy -- have been identified by the state as lacking state ID, having an expired ID, or having a  discrepancy between their ID and their voter registration that could prevent them from casting a ballot in November.

If anything like that many people are prevented from voting, it will forever change Pennsylvania politics. But can we believe the numbers are this large? Will Voter ID take away the votes of minorities, elderly and young people? 

A small group of people with interest in data have been trying to assess Voter ID and its likely impact. We invite you to join us.

The purpose of this blog is to share what we've found, link to data sources, and also encourage others to pursue the facts with us.

Feel free to ask questions and I'll be glad to help in any way that I can. Tom

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Name discrepancy: the ugly Election Day surprise?

One of the biggest unanswered questions about Pennsylvania Voter ID is what happens on Election Day when the name on a voter's driver's license doesn't quite match his or her voter registration.

Maiden names don't match married names. Multiple family names (common among Latinos) get omitted on one form or the other.  Name order gets reversed (common among Asian immigrants) because of confusion on forms. And millions of people just go by different names in different contexts.

To borrow a real life example from the Voter ID trial, what if you're registered as Tia Sutter, but your id says Christine Sutter?

This sort of thing is very common. Of the 758,000 Pennsylvania voters who couldn't be found in the state's driver's license and ID database, many in fact have IDs -- but under a different name.

You may assume, as I did, that poll workers will exercise common sense on election day, will recognize that Tia Sutter is Christine Sutter, and let her vote.

But that is a questionable assumption. The law as enacted allows no wiggle room on the name. It says the name on the ID must "substantially conform to the name of the individual as it appears in the district register."

Do the poll workers get to interpret "substantially" for themselves? Can they vouch for the 90-year-old who's been voting for 65 years but whose ID and registration don't match? The law has no language authorizing this.

What is more likely is the standard will be very legalistic and picky, and that poll workers will not have any discretion.

Especially if the presidential election in Pennsylvania is close,  the national political parties will send hordes of volunteers -- many of them lawyers -- to key polling places on Election Day. They will sit at the table with the poll workers, look over their shoulders and litigate every name that doesn't match.

Nobody will actually say this, but the job of Republican Party election monitors sent to Obama-friendly Philadelphia precincts will be to disqualify as many voters as possible. Voter ID gives them tens of thousands, perhaps 100,000, voters they can challenge.

So if the poll workers can't decide who gets to vote, who does? Who decides what "substantially conform" means? If there are state regulations issued on this question,  they will come from the office of Pennsylvania Secretary of State Carol Aichele, a conservative Republican who has been accused before of trying to suppress African-American voter turnout by moving a polling place away from historically black Lincoln University.

There is no reason to expect Aichele will be nice about it. The whole underlying philosophy of Voter ID is that the burden will be on voters to prove, legally -- as in, admissible in a courtroom -- that they are who they say they are, or they lose their vote.

One possible "solution" is that Aichele's office will require a name affidavit, a notarized legal document, often prepared by a lawyer, that certifies that Terri Smith (unmarried) is the same person as Terri Jones (married), or "Tia" is "Christine." If you've refinanced a mortgage recently, there's a good chance you signed a name affidavit.

It could be a quite a boon for notaries and lawyers, given that the potential market for these documents would be some portion of 758,000 Pennsylvania voters.

But for voters, not so much. Name discrepancy could hit people who least suspect they have a problem.  They may have gotten a letter from Aichele's office but they'll ignore it because they have a driver's license. If they're diligent, they'll check their voter registration card -- which in Philadelphia doesn't even contain their full name -- and find no reason to worry.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Voter ID impact on minority voters in Philadelphia

Voter ID impact on minority voters in Philadelphia

Tamara Manik-Perlman, Project Manager & Spatial Data Analyst at Azavea, a did the Geographic Information Systems work and statistical analysis at the heart of this post. Details of her work, along with maps and charts, are available here.

Exec summary

Pennsylvania’s new Voter ID law affects African and Hispanic voters at a much higher rate than whites in Philadelphia, according to analysis involving U.S. Census data, voter registration records and Voter ID provided by Pennsylvania's Secretary of State.

Statistical correlation shows a strong relationship between the racial/ethnic makeup of voting precincts and the percentage of voters who lack state ID required to vote or whose state IDs have expired and are not usable.

A voter who lives in the city’s most heavily African American voting precincts is 85% more likely to lack a valid ID than a voter who lives in a predominantly white precinct. Voters who live in heavily Hispanic areas are 108 percent more likely to lack valid state ID than those from predominately white areas. Heavily Asian neighborhoods show the same pattern. 

If new state IDs are not produced for tens of thousands of Philadelphia residents, the analysis indicates, Voter ID will significantly reduce the vote of African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians relative to the city's overall population.

Philadelphia Ward-divisions (Precincts), showing percentage of voters with either no ID or expired ID. Blue means lower percentage of voters with problems; yellow and orange means a higher percentage with problems.

Map legend


The Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s office, after previously estimating that about 1 percent of Pennsylvania voters would have to get new photo IDs to satisfy the requirements of the law, earlier this summer began an attempt to identify these voters. 

The state compared its database of voters with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s database of driver’s licenses and non-driver ID cards.  The exact method of comparison has not been disclosed, but in early July, the Pennsylvania Secretary of State sent to county voter registrars a list of 758,000 registered voters (186,000 in Philadelphia) who could not be located in the PennDOT database. We refer to this as the “no id” list.

In late July, county registrars were sent another list of 576,000 voters (176,000 in Philadelphia) who had been matched in the PennDOT database but whose licenses or IDs had expired before November 2011 and would therefore be unusable for voting in November 2012. This we refer to as the “expired” list. 

We obtained the two lists from Philadelphia Commissioner Stephanie Singer’s office and compared the two based on the voter identification number, determining that there is no overlap between the two lists. In all, 362,329, or 35 percent of Philadelphia’s registered voters, are either on the “no id” or “expired id” list received by Commissioner Singer’s office. Of the 868,000 Philadelphia voters regarded as “active,” having voted in the last 4 years, 282,609, or 32.5 percent is either on the “no id” or “expired” list.

Limitations of the data and caveats

While the “no id” and “expired id” data represents the best available information on the likely impact of Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law – indeed it may be the best information available to date from any state that has enacted such laws – there are limitations.

The “no id” list, as The Philadelphia Inquirer reported July 29, contains voters who in fact have IDs but weren’t found on the PennDOT list because of name discrepancies between the two databases or simple spelling errors. One example is voters who registered under their maiden name, were subsequently married, and then obtained a driver’s license under their married name. At least some of these voters presumably would be permitted to vote if they could provide supplemental identification to prove they are in fact the same person, but it is not clear how many could do so.

In fact, it is impossible to know how many on the “no id” list will be unable to vote without obtaining state IDs between now and November, though it is probably fair to say it will greatly exceed the 1 percent impact predicted by Gov. Corbett and Secretary of State Aichele at the time Voter ID was enacted. 

Even if one assumes that half of the “no id” voters in fact turn out to have IDs that can be used to vote, that would still leave more than 200,000 Philadelphians who are active voters who have either no ID or expired ID.

The expired id list, which was released later in July to county voter registrars, is probably a “harder” number because it represents positive matches, not the absence of a match. Assuming the Secretary of State did not make any mistakes in the analysis, the “expired” list represents voters who were found on the PennDOT database and whose licenses or IDs had expired before November 2011 and had not been renewed at the time the data snapshot was taken.

Measuring impact by race/ethnicity

In the end our report is not trying to answer the question of total magnitude; our focus is on race and ethnicity and disproportionate impact. Whether the percentage of Philadelphia voters affected is 35 percent or 20 percent, or some smaller number, the purpose of this analysis is to make a first attempt to determine whether the law will affect minority voting rights in Philadelphia.

The federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, renewed by Congress in 2006, prohibits states from imposing any "voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure ... to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color." The U.S. Department of Justice has launched an inquiry into Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law to determine whether it affects minority voters disproportionately.

Philadelphia presents an excellent data set with which to explore this question. While the city overall is racially diverse, many parts of the city remain ethnically homogeneous and therefore provide us with a way to compare Voter ID impact by ethnicity. 

Moreover, Pennsylvania’s data could have national implications, since Pennsylvania’s law is similar in language to several other states that have enacted Voter ID in 2011 and 2012. If the law negatively affects the minority vote in Philadelphia to the degree that we have found, the same pattern may be found in other Voter ID states.

This represents only an initial look at the data, using very basic techniques that can be easily duplicated. We hope academic researchers, news media, voting-rights organizations and others can use what we’ve done and verify and amplify these findings.  This paper will fully disclose the techniques used, and we will share the raw data – which is public information – with interested parties.

Data used:
  •  Philadelphia’s voter registration electronic file, a public document. The file contains 1.02 million voter records, of whom 868,000 are considered active voters because they have cast ballots in the last four years.
  •   The “no id” file, an electronic file from Pennsylvania Secretary of State Aichele's office containing 186,560 Philadelphia voters who were not found in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation database of driver’s licenses and non-driver state IDs.  We refer to this is the “no id” file.
  •  A second file provided by the Secretary of State in mid-July, containing an additional 175,769  Philadelphia voters who do have PennDOT IDs, but whose IDs expired before November 2011 and would therefore be unusable in November 2012 elections under the Pennsylvania law.)
  • U.S. Census data for 2010 – 100 percent counts for Philadelphia, broken down by Census block.
  • A Geographic Information Systems boundary file of 1,687 Philadelphia ward divisions – otherwise known as precincts.


“No ID” and “expired ID” files were joined to the Philadelphia voter registration file using the state voter identification number present in all three files.  This is a simple one-field join for a SQL database and can also be accomplished by some statistical software packages.

With the data combined, crosstabs could be run counting the total number of voters, and the number on the “no id” or “expired” lists, for each ward division in the city.

Meanwhile, using GIS software, Azavea merged census block data for population and ethnicity into the boundary file for Philadelphia ward divisions. The result is highly accurate breakdowns of voting population by race/ethnicity for voting-age population in the 1,687 ward divisions. 

Using the divisions as the unit of analysis, Pearson’s R correlations were run in Microsoft Excel. There would be many other statistical tools that could be used, including multiple linear regression. But we chose correlations for simplicity and also because it can be duplicated on desktop software that many people already own. 

Results 1: Correlations between ethnic composition of ward divisions and percentage of voters with possible ID problems.

Using 1,687 ward divisions as the unit of analysis, a strongly positive correlation was found between the percentage of voters with potential ID problems and the percentage of African-American population voting-age population. Which means: the higher the African-American percentage in the ward division, the higher the percentage of voters on the “no id” or “expired” id lists.

Here are the correlation coefficients obtained:
·         African-American: + 0.50
·         White: - 0.65
·         Hispanic: + 0.26

 Here's the plot of Philadelphia precincts based on the percentage of Black voters. As the proportion of Black voters in a preinct goes up, so does the percentage of voters who lacking state ID cards or have expired state IDs.

 For white voting voting-age population. A strongly negative correlation was found, meaning the higher the percentage of white population in the district, the fewer voters with ID problems.

Here's the plot based on the percentage of white voters in Philadelphia precincts. As the proportion of white voters in a precinct goes down (the bottom axis), so goes the percentage of voters with ID problems.

For Hispanic/Latino population, a weaker correlation was found, mainly because the Hispanic percentage in the city is lower, but the pattern is the same.

However, we believe this result does not mean Hispanics are less affected by Voter ID than African-Americans. When the analysis is re-run only on ward divisions where the percent Latino is 10% or greater, the correlation is +0.65-- stronger even than for African-Americans.  Similarly, when the procedure is run on divisions with > 10% Asian voters, a moderately positive +0.22 correlation is found, which means the higher the Asian population, the more voters with ID issues.

Results 2: Direct comparisons of White, African American, Hispanic and Asian areas.
Another way to look at the data, and one which may be more understandable to lay readers is to compare ward divisions that have the highest percentages of one race or another. 

Out of 1,685 ward divisions in the city (2 were excluded because they have almost no population) we selected the top 10 percent (169) of divisions by ethnic concentration.

The top 169 most heavily white divisions, according to the Census, contain a voting age population approximately 93 percent white. The percentage of voters who lack state ID or have expired ID in these divisions (“no id” or “expired”) is 21.0 percent, which is our baseline for comparison.

Next, we compare to the 169 divisions with the highest percentage of African-American voting-age population. As a group, these areas are 96 percent black. The percentage of voter id problems for this group is 38.9 percent.

To summarize, a voter who lives in these predominantly African American neighborhoods is 85% more likely to lack a state ID than a voter who lives in one of the most predominantly white precincts.

Hispanic impact

We selected the 169 divisions with the highest percentage of Hispanic voting age population according to the census. As a group, these divisions are 54 percent Hispanic. The percentage of voter id problems for this group is 43.6 percent.

So based on this comparison, A voter who lives in these heavily Latino neighborhoods is 108% more likely to lack the required ID to vote than someone who lives in Philadelphia’s predominantly white precincts.

Asian impact is more difficult to measure in this way because Philadelphia’s overall Asian population is smaller and there are fewer neighborhoods that are as highly concentrated.  

We selected the 169 divisions with the highest percentage of Asian voting age population according to the census. As a group, these divisions are 16 percent Asian. The percentage of voter id problems for this group is 28.3 percent. A voter who lives in these neighborhoods with a large Asian presence is 35% more likely to lack the required ID to vote than someone who lives in Philadelphia’s predominantly white precincts.

If we select a smaller group of Asian precincts with higher concentrations of Asian voting age population, the same pattern emerges that is seen with other ethnic minorities. 

We selected 11 ward divisions where the Asian voting age population was over 40 percent. These divisions have a total voting age population of 13,720, and contain 4,978 active voters. For this group of precincts, the percentage of active voters with ID problems indicated is 38.2 percent. So a person living in one of these districts is 82 percent more likely to have problems than in the predominantly white neighborhoods.

Further analysis

We intentionally kept the analysis simple and understandable, with a minimum of adjustments to the data. For example, correlations would be slightly stronger if college students and or college precincts, where there are large numbers of 2008 voters who have since moved out of Pennsylvania, were isolated out of the analysis.

We did not explore more advanced statistics, such as multiple regression, or more elaborate geo-statistical techniques that might identify clusters in the city.

The question we set out to answer was a simple one -- does Voter ID affect minorities more than the average resident? And the answer, though not surprising, is a clear yes.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Should you believe these numbers?

More than 282,000 Philadelphians are on the "no id" or "expired id" lists compiled by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State's office.

But Bob Warner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, in a very good story July 29, reported that when reporters called voters from the "no id" list, large numbers of people said they in fact had driver's licenses. This raises the question of whether the "no id" list contains mainly false hits and therefore overstates the magnitude of the Voter ID problem.
Exact details of how the list was put together have not been disclosed, but here is what has been reported:

-- The state's database of registered voters was compared against the Department of Transportation's list of driver's licenses and non-license IDs. Voter's names, and presumably dates of birth, were compared to the driver records. Voters who couldn't be found in the PennDOT database were added to the "no id" list, totaling 758,000, or about 1 in 11 Pennsylvania voters.

-- Weeks later, the Secretary of State released a second list, the "expired id" list of 574,000 voters who did match the PennDOT license database but whose IDs have expired in 2011 and can't be used to vote in November. This group also will need new IDs or they can't vote in November.

Here are some thoughts about this from someone who has been working with the data for a few weeks.

1) The people who told the Inquirer they have licenses might still have a problem on Election Day if their name on their license is different from their voter registration. The classic case of this is a woman (or man) who got married and now goes by a different last name. What if the driver's license has one name and the voter registration the other? What if someone starts going by their middle name and registers that way? When changes are made in one database or the other, are they synched? Apparently not.

No one should assume there will be a "reasonableness" standard applied to name discrepancies on election day either. Your kindly poll worker may know you're Bob even though your driver's license says Dave, but if Pennsylvania is still a swing state in November, you can be sure both the Democratic and Republican Parties will have swarms of lawyers looking over the poll workers' shoulders. The standard applied on Election Day might be very literal and very picky.

2) While the "no id" list is squishy because no one knows how name mismatches will be handled, the "expired" list is probably a harder number. It may be telling that the Secretary of State's office, which is charged with defending Voter ID, has had very little to say about the "expired list," and media organizations have paid it less attention. "Expired" represents actual matches in the PennDOT database, but to licenses that expired before November 2011 and would be unusable to vote in November 2012 under Pennsylvania's law.

3) Even if you assume half the "no id" voters will be able to vote, that would still mean 953,000 Pennsylvanians (200,000 Philadelphians), have ID problems that will prevent them from voting if they can't get a new ID from PennDOT before November. Even if you assume that 25% of these folks have left the state and have no intention of voting here, it is still way more IDs than anybody ever dreamed would be needed. At last week's Voter ID trial, one of the most comical comments came from a PennDOT official who said his agency was all prepared to process the 10,000 new IDs that would need to be created. 10,000 might not cover one ward in South Philly.

4) In some ways the most important question isn't the overall magnitude of impact anyway. What's important is whether Voter ID unfairly penalizes certain segments of society and therefore deprives them of representation (For example, see the age breakdowns posted here).

If the state lawsuit against Voter ID is unsuccessful, the U.S. Justice Department is getting ready to challenge the law under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which bars states from erecting any law that disproportionately impacts minority voting, whether the law was intended to be discriminatory or not. We have just completed an analysis on this question, and based on what we've found, the Justice Department is going to have a case. If Pennsylvania's law can be shown to affect African American and Hispanic voters more than whites, it could be hard to defend.

Friday, July 27, 2012

How to assemble the Voter ID Database

Here is a technical step by step for people who would like to assemble this data and do their own analysis.
This document is a step by step description of steps taken to join the voter files with the "no id" and
"expired id" files and produce the crosstabs.

The voter registration file is maintained by the City of Philadelphia and is a public document. We requested it from City Commissioner Stephanie Singer's office. Requestors must certify that it will not be used for commercial purposes like mailing lists. 

The "no id" and "expired id" files were provided by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State to city and county registrars last week. The contain the state voter number for everyone on the list and can be linked to the voter registration file.  These are also public documents and can be requested from the Secretary of State. 

This was done in Visual FoxPro 6.0 but these commands
would work in any SQL database with simple adjustments. I would encourage/beg others to create the database do the analysis for themselves.

Create voter table for Philadelphia from delimited text file.
create table philavoters free ;
(ID C (12),;
Pref C (4),;
Last C (25),;
First C (25),;
Middle C (15),;
Suffix C (5),;
Sex C (1),;
Dreg D,;
Status C (1),;
Changedt D,;
Party C (20),;
House I ,;
HouseNo C (4),;
Street C (50),;
Apt C (15),;
Addr_2 C (30),;
City C (35),;
State C (2),;
Zip C (15),;
MAdd_1 C (10),;
MAdd_2 C (10),;
MCity C (20),;
MState C (2),;
MZip C (15),;
Pollp C (50),;
Pollpl2 C (128),;
PollCSZ C (128),;
Lastvote D (8),;
Dist1 C (15),;
Dist2 C (15),;
Dist3 C (15),;
Dist4 C (15),;
Dist5 C (15),;
Dist6 C (15),;
Dist7 C (15),;
Dist8 C (15),;
Dist9 C (15),;
Dist10 C (15),;
Dist11 C (15),;
Dist12 C (15),;
Dist13 C (15),;
Dist14 C (15),;
Dist15 C (15),;
Custom1 C (25),;
Lastchange D (8),;
PR042412 C (10),;
PR042412VM C (10),;
GN110811 C (10),;
GN110811VM C (10),;
PR051711 C (10),;
PR051711VM C (10),;
SP020111 C (10),;
SP020111VM C (10),;
GN110210 C (10),;
GN110210VM C (10),;
PR051810 C (10),;
PR051810VM C (10),;
GN110309 C (10),;
GN110309VM C (10),;
PR051909 C (10),;
PR051909VM C (10),;
GN110408 C (10),;
GN110408VM C (10),;
PR042208 C (10),;
PR042208VM C (10))
append from voters2.txt type delimited with character "|"

1025829 records created. This represents all voters, active and inactive.

Add an index on id
Modify philavoters table to add the following fields.
Noid char(1) - flag for voters in the state's "no id" file
Expired char(1) - flag for voters in the "expired id" file.
Age integer - age calculated by subtracting Date of Birth from today's date.
Age range char(8) - range to be calculated from Age field.

Create noid table from the state's "no id" data release.

create table no_id free ;
(ID C (12),;
Las C (25),;
Fir C (25),;
Mid C (15),;
DOB C (8))
append from no_voter_id_per_state.csv type delimited

186830 records created. This represents all records in the "no id" file for Philadelphia, active
and inactive.

Add an index on id.

Create table from "expired" file from the state.
The file I received contained only a list of state voter ids.

create table expire free ;
(ID C (12))
append from expire.txt type delimited

574631 Records created. (this is more than just Philly voters; it is presumably a statewide file)

Add an index on id

Tables created, begin analysis.

Overall count of voters

Select count(*) from philavoters
Result: 1,025,829

Count of "active" voters:

Select count(*) from philavoters where status='A'
Result: 868,674

Query for records in the Philly voter file with IDs that are contained in the "no_id" file
select count(*) from Philavoters where id in (select id from no_id)
Result: 186,560 ...this is the number of ALL philly voters in the "no id" file.

Same query, this time limiting for voters on "active" status. This means voters who have voted in last X

select count(*) from Philavoters where status='A' and id in (select id from no_id)
Result: 135,859

Query for records in the Philly voter file with IDs that are contained in the "expired" file

select count(*) from Philavoters where id in (select id from expire)
result: 175,769
select count(*) from Philavoters where status='A' and id in (select id from expire)
result: 146,750

Now, is there any overlap between the "no id" and the "expired" file?

select count(*) from expire where id in (select id from no_id)
Result: 0
Just for good measure, reverse it:
select count(*) from no_id where id in (select id from expire)
result: 0

So - there is no overlap between "no id" and "expired" sets from the state. They are different
subsets of voters.

Now, put the data into the main table using the fields we created:
update Philavoters set noid='1' where id in (select id from no_id)
update Philavoters set expired='1' where id in (select id from expire)

How many voters are either no id or expired?
select count(*) from Philavoters where Noid='1' or expired='1'
Result: 362,329
How many of these are active?
select count(*) from Philavoters where (Noid='1' or expired='1') and Status='A'
Result: 282,609

How many are both (just to double check our data)?
select count(*) from Philavoters where Noid='1' and expired='1'
Result: 0

For convenience, populate field "either" which represents voter is either "no id" or "expired"
update philavoters set either='1' where Noid='1' or expired='1'
362,369 records updated.

Populate age field by calculating from DOB (this will vary by database)
update philavoters set Age=(date()-dob)/365.25

Populate age range field
update philavoters set age_range="und_25" where age<25
update philavoters set age_range="25-34" where age<35 and age >=25
update philavoters set age_range="35-44" where age<45 and age >=35
update philavoters set age_range="45-49" where age<50 and age >=45
update philavoters set age_range="50-54" where age<55 and age >=50
update philavoters set age_range="55-59" where age<60 and age >=55
update philavoters set age_range="60-64" where age<65 and age >=60
update philavoters set age_range="65-69" where age<70 and age >=65
update philavoters set age_range="70-74" where age<75 and age >=70
update philavoters set age_range="75-79" where age<80 and age >=75
update philavoters set age_range="80-84" where age<85 and age >=80
update philavoters set age_range="85-" where age >=85

Cross-tabulate age range with "either" (all voters)
SELECT Philavoters.age_range, Philavoters.either, count(*);
 FROM philavoters;
 GROUP BY Philavoters.age_range, Philavoters.either;
 ORDER BY Philavoters.age_range, Philavoters.either;
 DO (_GENXTAB) WITH 'Query1'

Note: c_1 in this table means the voters have ID problems of one kind or another. Blank means
they have a valid ID in the state licensing database according to Secretary of State.

ID problem
 Has id

Same crosstab but including only "active" voters.

SELECT Philavoters.age_range, Philavoters.either, count(*);
 FROM philavoters;
 WHERE Philavoters.status = "A";
 GROUP BY Philavoters.age_range, Philavoters.either;
 ORDER BY Philavoters.age_range, Philavoters.either;
 DO (_GENXTAB) WITH 'Query1'

Note: c_1 in this table means the voters have ID problems of one kind or another. Blank
means they have a valid ID in the state licensing database according to Secretary of State.
Includes only "active" voters

id problem
has id

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Making sense of the numbers -- overview of Voter ID in Philadelphia

  •  Phila total registered voters: 1.026 million
  • Active voters (meaning voted in the last 4 years): 868,674
  • "No ID" voters for Philly (active): 186,560 (135,859)
  • "Expired for Philly: 175,769 (146,750)
  • No ID or Expired, active 282,609 (32.5 percent of all Philly active voters)
 Just to put that last number in perspective, that is 7 packed Citizens Bank Parks full of Phillies fans who could lose their right to vote in November.

Using other data fields in the Philadelphia voter file, crosstabs can be run by age, party registration, and all levels of voting and legislative districts.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The old and the young....

One clear pattern that emerges is that the young and elderly are over-represented on the "need ID" lists.

Among those over 85 years old, 41 percent either cannot be found in the state's database of driver's licenses or ID cards, or have IDs that have expired and are not usable to vote.

There are people over 90 who have been voting in every election since Gov. Corbett was in diapers who will lose their right to vote unless they can get their paperwork in order and stand in line at PennDOT.
Among those under age 25, more than 50 percent lack ids, though that number is no doubt inflated by college students who registered to vote here but have driver licenses in other states.


Philadelphia voters without IDs, broken down by age ranges
Active voters only.

Age  No id or expired Has valid id Total Pct needs id
und_25 43994 38254 82248 53.5%
25-34 59879 134024 193903 30.9%
35-44 40669 104024 144693 28.1%
45-49 23142 50710 73852 31.3%
50-54 24889 52536 77425 32.1%
55-59 22317 52468 74785 29.8%
60-64 17143 45516 62659 27.4%
65-69 13359 34740 48099 27.8%
70-74 10624 24951 35575 29.9%
75-79 8716 18862 27578 31.6%
80-84 7475 14649 22124 33.8%
85- 10402 15331 25733 40.4%
Citywide 282609 586065 868674 32.5%