UPDATE: In her testimony, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Carol Aichele conceded,”I don’t know what the law says,” and could not support her claim that 99 percent of voters have an acceptable ID, while plaintiffs demonstrated that they have not been able to get it. Closing arguments were heard this morning. A ruling should come in the next few weeks. Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia – where up to 43 percent of voters may lack valid ID – has harshly criticized the law, calling it “a bad solution looking for a problem.” Click here for more from ACLU, Brennan Center, and League of Women Voters.
All eyes are on Pennsylvania now that a lawsuit challenging HB 934, the state’s ALEC–tied voter ID law, has gone to trial. Like other unnecessary voter ID laws, this one is expected to disenfranchise thousands if allowed to go into effect, and even state elections officials admit that it would affect more Pennsylvanians than previously estimated. They also concede that there “have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania.”
Watch Without a Photo ID, Some PA Voters Won’t Count in November on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
The trial is expected to last a week and will be decided on the basis of the Pennsylvania constitution. But, a federal lawsuit could very well be looming, as well. The Department of Justice has announced that it will investigate whether HB 934 discriminates against minorities, requesting from the state all data used to determine its statistics.
For more information, click here and here, watch this video, and be sure to check out The Right to Vote under Attack: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box, a Right Wing Watch: In Focus report by PFAW Foundation.