Image Map

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Back In Court
July 16, 2013 Tom Joseph
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Lawyers representing the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups argued in a courtroom in Harrisburg on Monday that Pennsylvania's Voter ID law should be permanently overturned.

According to Vic Walczak, legal director of the ACLU in Pennsylvania, it's clearly a case where implementing the law will disenfranchise huge numbers of voters in the state.

"We have hundreds of thousands of people who do not have the right kind of ID to vote, so this is a pretty important case," Walczak declared.

The law, passed 16 months ago, requires voters to have certain forms of photo identification in order to cast their ballots, and if enacted, would be one of the strictest in the nation. Those who support it claim it's an effort to minimize fraud at the polls, yet backers haven't been able to point to a single instance in the past where the law would have prevented such fraud from happening.

Walczak said the problems with the law are fundamental, since free voter IDs are available only at PennDOT License Centers, with limited days and hours of business.

"In some counties, there is no PennDOT that issues these," he pointed out. "In other counties, it's only open one day a week, and if that happens to be a day you're working or you've got child-care responsibilities, or you're sick, then you're not going to have an opportunity to go get it."

Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said the voter ID law is a cure for a nonexistent problem that kills huge numbers of citizens' right to vote.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.
On Air Now:

Brian Ruane
Weather Forecast