What if I told you that a new policy in Pennsylvania could dramatically impact future elections in the United States? Hold that thought because there's more. Pennsylvania just announced a policy to link voter registration with driver's license applications. This policy could hike voter turnout in favor of Democrats, particularly given Pennsylvania's 8.7 million registered voters. Interestingly, the anticipated increase in voter turnout matches the deciding vote margin in the 2020 elections.
But there is a twist to this story. It's time to shine the spotlight on Pennsylvania House Bill 279. This bill could potentially allow undocumented immigrants to acquire both driver's licenses and voter status. Is this a strategic move to create a stable Democratic voting base in a swing state? We decode the intention behind the Democrats' actions, evaluate whether this is a plausible scenario, and consider the implications for our democracy. The partisan waters are churning in Pennsylvania and we're breaking it all down for you. Tune in and join us as we navigate through this intriguing, dynamic tale that's unfolding and reshaping the political landscape.
The Real Clear Podcast with Dr Lucas Klein is the in-depth analysis and commentary on current political events through a psychological lens. The Real Clear podcast covers a wide range of topics, from the latest election results to policy debates, to exploring the impact of current events on the political landscape, decoding American Politics Through Psychology.
Good morning. It is Wednesday, september 20, 2023. Thanks for tuning in. As you know, I tend to cover important stories that are at the heartbeat of our nation, and this morning is no exception. Just yesterday, pennsylvania announced that it will link voter registration to driver's license applications. Let's talk about the effect this will have on our politics. If you follow the 2020 election results, the difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden's voter turnout was around 80,500 votes, and the likely increase in votes of either party that will result in this policy in Pennsylvania is 85,000. So what does this mean? Well, the general election tends to swing toward Democrats in terms of voter turnout, and the opposite is generally true for midterm elections, where the GOP turns out in higher numbers. So this increase in 85,000 votes is likely to swing towards the Democrats. Now, the baseline for this prediction is the other 23 states who have a similar kind of legislation linking voter registration to other processes like driver's license applications. These policies tend to increase active voter turnout by 1%. There's 8,700,000 people registered to vote in Pennsylvania, and this would result in roughly that number I provided you 85,000. Although the actual raw number of eligible voters that the Democrat Party in Pennsylvania says are present is 1 million or more, so we don't exactly know what the effect of this law is going to be. Now, a direction that nobody seems to be going in, but which makes perfect sense, is how many immigrants, and specifically illegal immigrants, are going to be able to acquire voter status in Pennsylvania. This is a vital question to ask and we can't ignore it, because the margins between our candidates in this country has been, for a long time, very slim. Well, let's go to the official document requests. When you're applying for a driver's license in Pennsylvania, if you're 18 years of age or older and you are a new resident of Pennsylvania, you need to show one form of identification from list A, and that requires birth certificate or US citizenship certificate or certificate of naturalization or valid US passport. Two forms of proof of residency from list B that can include tax records, lease agreements, mortgage documents, w-2 form, current weapons permit, current utility bills, your Social Security card and your out-of-state driver's license and or ID card. Okay, some of those documents are not easy to manufacture or fabricate, but some of them are. Anybody can get a utility bill, and so what is the likelihood that illegal immigrants will be able to obtain driver's licenses and affect the election in 2024 in Pennsylvania. We can turn to Pennsylvania House Bill 279, proposed by the Democrats this past session, which says that they would amend state law to grant a driver's license without a Social Security number, enabling undocumented immigrants to receive a driver's license just by using an identification number and some additional documents, as I mentioned in List B. Well, there you have it. There's the intention of the Democrats. It doesn't take too much digging. They're trying to source a more stable voting base and essentially close up Pennsylvania, a major swing state. Although Pennsylvania may already have been a foregone conclusion, it's swung to the Democrats in 2022 midterms, and that may be a bellwether in terms of where the state is headed. It's also where Joe Biden says he's from. It's also the state that elected a stroke victim over a physician, as unlikeable as that physician may have appeared, and so it's kind of an odd state these days, right in the middle, right on the meridian, between the two candidates of either party, and so this is an interesting, dynamic story that's unfolding. The part of it that I am concerned about is obviously that state law in Pennsylvania 279 that does seem to point toward a strategy that the Democrats have to establish an illegal voting base through migrants, and I hope that doesn't turn out. I hope that doesn't work. I don't think that's good for our democracy, but it is evident in their intentions. Why else would you introduce this bill as well as House Bill 279 in the same session of Congress? They're being quite transparent about this, and in such a swingy state, in such a swingy period of time, right before the elections, the general elections, this is a bit conspicuous. I don't think it's conspiratorial to point out that these two bills passed at the same time, right before a general election. I think it's actually common sense to observe these things. Okay, well, there we are, folks, and I hope you have a great day. Be well, and I'll talk to you soon.