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
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.