Congressman Bob Brady, the chairman of Philadelphia's Democratic Party, has called the city's 69 Democratic ward leaders to a meeting next Monday to address the new state law requiring voters to provide photo ID when they show up at the polls in November.
"We want to make sure that anybody who wants to vote gets the opportunity to vote in November," Brady said Wednesday. In a letter sent to ward leaders this week, he called the meeting "extremely important" and said he'd be inviting many of the other organizations mobilized this year to help would-be voters obtain the necessary credentials.
The meeting is set for noon at Finnigan's Wake, the bar and restaurant at 3rd and Spring Garden streets, just next door to the new headquarters that the Democrats expect to open next month.
"The thrust is, the City Committee is not going to wait for the state Supreme Court to decide one way or the other," said Ken Smukler, one of Brady's advisers. "The idea is to start preparing now as if we're going to be under a strict voter ID law in November, to start working now to get voters whatever they will need."
Other players invited, Smukler said, include the city election commissioners, representatives of the black clergy, the NAACP, various union leaders and the Committee of 70, a leader of a nonpartisan Voter ID Coalition, now comprising 150 organizations around the state.