Voter ID Fight Heads to Commonwealth Court

Civil rights groups are seeking an injunction against the law that requires voters to have photo ID when they go to the polls in November.

Since its passage four months ago, Pennsylvania's has been a controversial topic throughout the state and on the Web. Previous stories about the issue on Patch have featured passionate replies from commenters on both sides.

"I find this to be a form of voter suppression targeting the elderly and disabled," user Franz Perl wrote. "These groups will have the hardest time getting to a DMV center, most do not drive."

Commenter Pete Krenshaw replied, "Bottom line – we need to make sure the integrity of the voting process is preserved regardless of political affiliation. So everyone who wants to vote has until November to obtain an acceptable form of ID. It's time to get it done."

Supporters and detractors of Pennsylvania's Voter ID law finally get their chance to make their arguments later today before Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson. 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will represent 10 Pennsylvania citizens who say that the law deprives them of the right to cast a vote in November's general election, Philly.com reports. The ACLU will bring in witnesses that say they are unable to obtain the necessary photo identifications in time for the election.

In a report released earlier this month, the Pennsylvania State Department announced that , either a driver's license or non-driver's license. Critics argue that those numbers do not properly take into account voters that have other forms of identification.

Under the law, acceptable photo IDs include identification issued by the federal government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a driver's license or non-driver's license photo ID), a valid U.S. passport that has not expired, a U.S. military ID, an employee photo ID issued by the federal, state, county or municipal government, photo IDs from an accredited public or private Pennsylvania college or university, or an ID card issued by a state care facility.

Last week, CBS Philly reported that the Pennsylvania State Department has also created a special, free ID card solely for the purpose of voting. Residents must travel to a state licensing facility and provide two proofs of residence, such as a utility bill, their date of birth and social security number. A birth certificate is not required. The information will be verified and photo ID card issued during the same visit, a State Department spokesperson told CBS.

Governor Tom Corbett signed the controversial voter ID bill in March, saying the law aims to prevent fraud at the ballot box. According to Huffington Post, the ACLU has included in its filing documents a stipulation agreement from state officials that there has been no prosecutions or investigations of voter fraud in the past or any direct knowledge of investigations in other states.

Philly.com says the state will argue that the law is not burdensome to the electorate and every effort has been made to ensure legal voters can get the documents they need. Regardless of the outcome of the case, it is extremely likely that it will be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

Christine Whalen July 27, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Here's an article for you guy all concerned about voter fraud. this is who is committing it. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/06/did-mitt-romney-commit-voter-fraud
Mike Shortall Sr July 27, 2012 at 05:43 PM
That's quite funny. Even an organization as liberal as Mother Jones is could recognize the fact that the author of the article has a gay/anti-Mormon ax to grind, bigger than the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, when it comes to Mitt Romney, and no move has been made by any authority to press Romney on his voting habits. On the other hand, it worth noting that - if Mr. Romney had in fact been voting fraudulently - the type of voter ID requirement to be used in Pennsylvania, which would include his legal address of residency, would have prevented the "fraud"!! Thanks!
Stephen Eickhoff July 27, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Ah yes, the conservative heavyweight Paul Weyrich. I'm sure you can find some other outdated quotes from other dead extremists on top of that. How about David Duke? Or some other figurehead who never held elected office or controlled multinational corporations or shadow orgs like George Soros?
Christine Whalen July 27, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Stephen, he start the Heritage foundation. they have been behind the conservative movement. they have think tanks and all they do is figure ways to win at all costs. they lie, cheat and steal to win.
Smedley July 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM
How about if we start talking about the invisible, incompetent, millionaire, career politician, wicked warlock of the right, Stewart Greenleaf ?


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