PHILADELPHIA — More than 750,000 Pennsylvanians may be denied a chance to vote in November unless they can come up with an acceptable form of identification, a tally released by the state suggests.
In a move lawmakers said would deter fraud at the polls, the Republican-led Legislature passed a law in March requiring voters to have a photo ID to obtain a ballot. A comparison of registration lists and state Transportation Department records showed 758,939 people don’t have either a driver’s license or an alternative state ID, the secretary of the commonwealth said.
Backed by Governor Tom Corbett, a Republican, the law was enacted as similar measures in Republican-led states drew criticism from Democrats who say they disenfranchise minority, poor, and young voters. Those groups have tended to support Democrats. A voter ID law in Texas has been blocked by the Justice Department, while in Florida, which also has a photo ID requirement, federal officials have sued to halt state attempts to bar noncitizens from voting.
In New Hampshire, Governor John Lynch on Friday allowed a bill requiring photo identification to become law without his signature, but he says he hopes the Legislature will revisit the issue.
‘‘There is a real risk that poor people and minority voters, among others, will be discouraged from participating,’’ said Daniel Tokaji, who teaches at Ohio State University’s law school and helps direct its election-law center. ‘‘These laws are likely to have a greater impact on Democratic- leaning groups of voters.’’
In Pennsylvania, unless voters have an acceptable alternative, such as a military ID, or obtain an ID before Nov. 6, as much as 9 percent of the state’s electorate may be denied a chance to cast a ballot in the presidential election. The swing state went for Barack Obama, a Democrat, 55 percent to 44 percent for Republican John McCain in 2008.
Obama carried the state by 620,478 votes, fewer than the number who may be barred from the polls Nov. 6.
Republicans taking control or boosting majorities in state capitols drove ‘‘more restrictive’’ election laws, Tokaji said. At the start of 2011, as legislatures elected in November 2010 took their seats, only Georgia and Indiana required a photo ID to vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver.
By November, at least 30 states will require voters to show identification to obtain a ballot, according to the conference, a nonprofit research organization. Most won’t require a photo ID.
Three more — Mississippi, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin — have enacted such laws and are in varying stages of implementing them or litigating challenges.
Pro-Republican group knocks Obama on jobs
WASHINGTON — A pro-Republican group is pouring $25 million into new TV ads that blame President Obama for the sluggish economy and call for lower taxes and less regulation.
Crossroads GPS says the ads will air in nine battleground states from July 10 through early August.
The ads track comments and proposals made by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
They call for more energy production, reduced taxes and regulation, and an end to the health care law that Republicans call ‘‘Obamacare.’’
Crossroads GPS, the nonprofit arm of super PAC American Crossroads, says the policies would boost job growth.
The ads will air in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, Colorado, and Nevada.
Owner of restaurant dies after president visits
AKRON, Ohio — An Ohio restaurant owner who hosted President Obama for breakfast became ill and died hours later.
The Summit County medical examiner’s office in Akron says 70-year-old Josephine ‘‘Ann’’ Harris of Copley Township died Friday of natural causes. No autopsy was planned.
Forensic investigator Jason Grom says Harris became ill at home after the Obama visit. He says she went into cardiac arrest in the ambulance while en route to a hospital.
Several hours earlier she had hugged Obama when he showed up at her Ann’s Place restaurant. The Akron Beacon Journal interviewed Harris after the president’s visit and described her as ecstatic. The breakfast stop kicked off the second day of a two-day campaign swing from the Toledo area to Pittsburgh.