Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC’s finance program Mad Money, is seeing the effects of voter suppression laws firsthand.
This morning, Cramer tweeted about his father, a Pennsylvania resident who stands to lose his right to vote because of the state’s new restrictive voter ID law. Like thousands of Pennsylvania who could be disenfranchised in November, Cramer’s father lacks a voter ID because he’s a senior citizen and does not drive. Cramer also noted that he doesn’t have access to his citizenship documents.
Cramer’s father is one of 750,000 Pennsylvanians whose right to cast a ballot is in jeopardy this fall. Some residents don’t have access to an ID agency, others don’t have access to their birth certificate, and some are just too old for the computer system to recognize their age and give them an ID. In total, approximately one in ten otherwise-eligible Pennsylvanians don’t have an ID that officials would accept under the state’s new voter ID law.
The law’s fate is currently in the State Supreme Court, where hearings will begin this week. If they allow it to stand, it will be in effect for this year’s election.
A House Democratic Twitter account responded to Cramer with a promise that Rep. Bob Brady (D-PA), who represents part of Philadelphia, would “personally see to it that your dad gets the necessary ID and transportation to vote.” Yet even if Cramer’s situation is successfully resolved, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians who don’t have children on national TV could still be turned away from the polls in November.
As noted by TPM, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation came across Cramer’s tweet and are helping his father obtain a voter ID. But the matter remains illustrative of the challenges thousands of Pennsylvanians are going through to obtain IDs.