Voter ID is shaping up to be a huge story in Pennsylvania this fall. While Corbett admin officials first said 99% of voters have state-issued photo ID, it now looks like the number is closer to 90% statewide, and closer to 80% in Democratic-heavy Philadelphia.

From the AP:

State officials say that more than 758,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania do not have photo identification cards from the state transportation department, leaving their ability to vote in November in doubt unless they have another acceptable form of identification.

The Pennsylvania Department of State said that a comparison of voter registration rolls with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation databases indicates that 91 percent of the commonwealth's 8.2 million registered voters have PennDOT identification numbers.

"This thorough comparison of databases confirms that most Pennsylvanians have acceptable photo ID for voting this November," department secretary Carol Aichele said in a news release. Officials noted that the review wouldn't identify voters who may have other acceptable forms of ID.

Department officials had said previously that they believed that 99 percent of Pennsylvania voters already had the photo ID they will need at the polls in November.

In Philadelphia, 186,830 registered voters — 18 percent of the city's total registration — do not have PennDot ID, The Philadelphia Inquirer said.

The new law requires all voters to show photo ID such as a driver's license or nondriver PennDOT photo ID, U.S. passports, student identification cards with expiration dates, current military identification, or ID cards issued to government employees.

The ACLU has sued over the law, saying it created an undue burden on voters.

OK, forget all that Is-Pa-Still-A-Battleground hand-wringing: tomorrow is shaping up to be a crazy and fun day in Pittsburgh for presidential politics.bobby jindal

President Obama of course is coming in for a campaign rally at CMU Friday afternoon, but Republicans are bringing in big guns of their own for a counter-rally across Oakland in the morning, starring former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (right). The GOP/Romney campaign event is at 10 a.m. at Soldiers & Sailors Hall.

The governors are shadowing Obama today in his bus tour of northern Ohio too.

The Obama camp is still handing out tickets for their 2 p.m. event via campaign offices in East Liberty and the Strip District.

And the big news out of the campaign today is via the Toledo Blade, which reports some red meat for the Democratic base: the White House is filing an unfair trade complaint against China today for its duties against US-made cars and SUVs (against the backdrop of Obama's auto bailout, which he's talking/advertising about a lot in auto-heavy Ohio and steel-heavy Pa).

Romney will give Obama a hard run here in Pa, argues former state Rep./GOP Senate candidate Sam Rohrer in an op-ed in the PG today:

Pennsylvania's heritage of religious freedom goes all the way back to William Penn. Pennsylvania's independent spirit, strong work ethic and unswerving commitment to the right to keep and bear arms are well documented. Pennsylvania's tremendous natural resources, including coal, natural gas, oil and timber, hold the key to future economic prosperity.

The citizens of our state remember our better days and see our hope for their return increasingly threatened as Mr. Obama directly or indirectly threatens the foundations of that future. The political ground is shifting across the commonwealth. Once a sure win for the Obama campaign, Pennsylvania may now be what Florida was in 2000, 2004 and 2008: a "must win" for both sides.

From Paula Reed Ward at the main site:

Former state Sen. Jane Orie will forfeit part of her pension to pay down more than $180,000 in restitution, damages and reimbursement she was ordered to pay today by an Allegheny County Common Pleas judge.

That is far less than the $2 million prosecutors had sought after her conviction on public corruption charges.

In a 14-page opinion, Judge Jeffrey A. Manning, who presided over the McCandless Republican's trial in March, said Orie must pay $23,269.74 in restitution, as well as damages of $46,537.48.

In addition, Judge Manning ordered Orie to pay back to the Senate Republican Caucus $110,650 it spent for the cost of outside counsel during the criminal investigation.

To facilitate those payments, the court said Orie must forfeit $89,670.18 in her state pension.

Orie was sentenced to prison for 2-1/2 to 10 years after being found guilty of 14 counts, including five felonies.

She was accused of using her legislative staff to run election campaigns for herself and her sister, state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, who faces a preliminary hearing on similar charges next week.

If the Obama campaign is focusing on the working class and manufacturing on its "Betting On America" bus tour through northern Ohio and Western Pa later this week, why is it rallying at one of the most expensive colleges in the country?

The campaign's national press secretary Ben LaBolt responded to that question in a media conference call today (lodged by the Inky's Tom Fitzgerald) regarding Obama's speech Friday at CMU, mixing some G20-esque PR for the city with a political answer on education.

"Pittsburgh in many ways has been a success story for other cities and towns across the midwest, in that it's figured out how to get back onto its feet in the new economy. Carnegie Mellon's got an engineering school and is representative of the sorts of investments the president's been talking about," LaBolt said. "To build an economy that lasts we need to invest in research and development to spur innovation, andwe need to invest in education, and we need to ensure that the skills our workers have match the jobs that are available on the market."

State Democratic Party chair/Allegheny County councilman Jim Burn added the Oakland location is easy for Obama supporters to get to, and is one they should be familiar with, as then-senator Obama visited the campus four years ago. (He's visited twice as president and once as a candidate.)

Some loose ends this pre-holiday Tuesday:

State Sen. John Pippy's resigning to probably take a job at the Pa Coal Association, but we won't know the position until Monday. The assumption is he won't lobby for them, as the state has a 1-year revolving door ban.

The federal government is full-speed ahead on requiring broadcast TV stations in Pittsburgh and the other 49 major markets to post their political ad guy information online, starting Aug. 2, even though broadcasters are suing to stop the FCC requirement. (Sunlight Foundation)

The HuffPost wrote a story -- pegged to a video posted by the Pa Dem party -- on GOP Senate candidate Tom Smith saying a Tea Party speaker spoke "eloquently" in a speech comparing the Obama admin to Nazi Germany.

Speaking of Sunlight, they have another story showing Smith has spent the 4th most on advertising of any congressional candidate nationwide. He's spent $2.57 million on ads so far.

Smith's coal-industry compatriot to the south, John Raese, has a tough new ad tying Joe Manchin to the Obama administration's environmental policies. (Politico Morning Score)

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