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Philly Mayor: Pennsylvania Voter ID Law 'A Bad Solution Looking For A Problem'

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Newscom

While noting that the state's estimate of how many voters lack a form of ID issued by the state's Department of Transportation "seems to change every day," Nutter said the initial estimate -- that 18 percent of Philadelphians lack state issued ID -- "gives us a lot of concern."

"There are many, many Philadelphians -- senior citizens, folks of Puerto Rican heritage not born here, can't get IDs, can't get the birth certificates; folks who may be sick or in nursing homes, other folks who potentially have to spend money to then get other documents to then get a free ID," Nutter said.

The Pennsylvania law is currently on trial in state court, while the Justice Department has its own separate investigation into whether the law is discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act.

Other forms of photo identification are accepted under the law (though Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele couldn't tell you what they are), but the state itself and many municipalities issued employee IDs which didn't include an expiration date as required under the voter ID law. Nutter said Philadelphia will now be placing expiration dates on their IDs so they were valid under the law. He said the city will also use its infrastructure -- advertising on city owned buildings, distributing flyers and advertising the new rules on its website -- to get the word out.

"Our goal is to make sure that no one is denied that right to vote who is an eligible voter and who should not have any obstacle or barrier placed in his path as a result of this particular law," Nutter said. "We have a law, it has a potential negative impact on people, and I'm going to spend my time and effort focused on how we make sure everybody has the necessary ID under the law and can go and vote on election day for whoever they want to vote for."

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