Seventy’s Stalberg Goes on Power 99 Radio to Discuss Voter ID

Zack Stalberg

Zack Stalberg

The fight over Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law has essentially become a war of information. Legislatively speaking, it’s over and the naysayers lost. But rather than resign in defeat, groups like the Committee of 70 and Cost of Freedom have taken it upon themselves to inform the public of what the law means so we’re not stuck with our tails between our legs come November.

The Committee of Seventy, as we’ve reported, has been holding training sessions for volunteers in the city and will be clotting polling places on April 24 to let everyone know what’s needed at the polls. But for those Philadelphians who may end up skipping the primary on Tuesday (see: So many of you), Seventy has been making the rounds in some otherwise unlikely places so voters understand what’s going on, and what’s at stake.

For instance, Seventy head Zach Stalberg recent went on Philly hip hop station Power 99, going over how you can vote on Tuesday and in November. It’s 16 minutes, but explains everything you need to know. Of course, I’m not able to embed at the moment, so you can click here to listen. Click it!

The Voter ID bill will require all voters in Pennsylvania to show a valid ID at the polls. To some of us this seems like a no-brainer. To others, it’s a harsh Jim Crow-esque tactic. Critics have said that Voter ID laws would disproportionately affect minorities, the elderly, women and students, some of whom either do not have valid ID or have an ID that is out of date, in terms of their address, name or otherwise. The bill was rushed through the Pennsylvania Legislature and signed by Gov. Corbett in March.

“The Committee of Seventy is nonpartisan so please take my comments in that spirit,” Stalberg said during the Power 99 interview. “Generally speaking in Pennsylvania and in many other states across the country, the belief is, this is a tactic to try to bring down [voter] turnout in November because the people most affected are people most likely to vote for the president…seniors, low income people…to make it a little harder for a Democratic president to win.”

Stahlberg notes his role is not on the politics surrounding the bill’s passage, but the educational aspect of dealing with the law. “I really believe that if the Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition can do a good job…we can drive up voter turnout, which, you know has been embarrassing low — even in presidential elections,” he said. The Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition consists of more than 60 groups around the state fighting to inform the public on this law.

He hopes to have the “flip side” of the low turnout people are anticipating.

You will be asked for ID when (if?) you vote on Tuesday, but you’ll be allowed to vote even if you don’t have it. You will not be able to vote in November without ID.

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