Applying Math to A Very Important Action Alert from the Daily Kos

Like most big Internet sites including this one, the Daily Kos has an email list, to which it sends messages that it feels are important. Last night, one of our operatives intercepted this very important action alert from Chris Bowers, the DKos Campaign Director.


(Operative’s name withheld), last week a judge upheld the new voter ID law in Pennsylvania. This is the law that the Pennsylvania House Republican leader said “is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania” because it potentially disenfranchises 750,000voters.Well, that’s what he thinks. A huge coalition of 100+ labor and civil rights groups has come together to do the door knocking, phone banking and voter education necessary to make sure everyone in this must-win swing state can still cast a ballot.

At Daily Kos, we’re helping out by running online ads in Pennsylvania to sign up more than 1,000 volunteers so that this coalition has the people power it needs. Please, click here to contribute $5 to Daily Kos so that we can sign up the thousands of volunteers needed to overcome Pennsylvania’s voter ID law.

To get a sense of how blatant an attempt at voter suppression this voter ID law is, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will not extend business hours or hire new staff to assist the nearly one million people who now need IDs in order to vote. Further, the contract to educate Pennsylvania voters about the law went to a public relations firm with deep ties to the Republican Party.

To stop this, we need to get thousands of volunteers on the ground working with an experienced coalition that knows how to get voters to the polls and in compliance with the new law. We can do it, but we need your help.

Please click here to contribute $5 to Daily Kos so we can run online ads to sign up thousands of volunteers in order to make sure everyone in Pennsylvania can still vote.

Keep fighting,
Chris Bowers
Campaign Director, Daily Kos


According to Campaign Director Bowers, in Pennsylvania there are one million people who do not have the photo ID that the state’s new law requires in order to vote. That law, by the way, has been upheld in court and enjoys overwhelming support in the state.

Setting that aside, could the DKos’ rendering of the numbers be true? Are there one million Pennsylvanians who might vote but lack the necessary photo ID?

According to the US Census Bureau, in 2011 Pennsylvania had 12,742,886 residents.

Of those, 21.7% are under 18 years old and therefore cannot vote.  Math is hard, but let’s do some anyway. This means that 2,765,206 Pennsylvanians are not yet eligible to vote.

Subtracting that number from total population leaves 9,977,679 Pennsylvanians who are over 18 and are therefore eligible to vote. According to the Daily Kos’ Campaign Director, one million of those lack the necessary ID to vote. That’s roughly 11% of the state’s total voting-age population.

The DKos’ rendering of the numbers could be true. But the chances of them having gotten this right are vanishingly small.


They seem to be exaggerating for effect, not writing for accuracy.


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