Thursday, August 02, 2012

Independent study corroborates voter ID's disproportionate impact in Philadelphia

Tamara Manik-Perlman at Azavea compiled a great study of the disproportionate impact of voter ID in the Philadelphia region, using data provided by City Commissioner Stephanie Singer, the PA Department of State, and the 2010 Census. It's very much worth reading, and shows some interesting [read: disturbing] trends.

In particular, the geographic distribution of voters lacking ID is startling. The large purple splotch on the map above is the area around University City, known for high populations of college students and African Americans - two groups targeted for suppression by voter ID laws. The dark purple shows that, according to the Department of State's figures, sixty to eighty percent of voters in those districts may not have valid ID for voting.
Writes Manik-Perlman
The map makes clear that the spatial distribution of those who lack ID is non-random. Voters without ID are heavily concentrated around the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University in West Philadelphia, as well as parts of North, West and Southwest Philadelphia. The rates of voters without ID are relatively low in the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Center City.
Note that ACLU-PA had nothing to do with this study (in fact we only learned about it today, when Ms. Manik-Perlman tweeted it at us) and that, unlike most of the material we've been sharing in the last ten days, this study was not entered into evidence in our legal challenge against the voter ID law. 

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