ACLU Makes Case against Voter Id Law

By McNulty, Timothy | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), September 24, 2012 | Go to article overview

ACLU Makes Case against Voter Id Law


McNulty, Timothy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Opponents of Pennsylvania's voter identification law say the process for getting new IDs is "convoluted, burdensome and unlawful," and Commonwealth Court should order an injunction suspending its enforcement this Election Day.

Briefs are due today in advance of the latest hearing Tuesday before Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson. The state Supreme Court sent a challenge of the law back to the lower court earlier this month to ensure there is "liberal access" to new voting-only IDs and there will be "no disenfranchisement" of voters Nov. 6.

Lawyers for the state were also due to file a brief defending the law.

The 14-page brief from the American Civil Liberties Union and other challengers of the law say applicants for the new IDs are forced to visit PennDOT driver's license centers at least twice to obtain them. It points to the example of an 84-year-old Beaver County woman who twice made 80 minute drives to her county's center, only to return empty-handed. Others were denied the voting-only cards because they were recently registered and it takes up to a month to appear in the voter registration database, as is required before obtaining the IDs.

The brief further argues that PennDOT workers are not sufficiently trained in producing new ID claims in the short timeframe before the election, that applicants face long waits or live in counties without license centers, and that voter education efforts on the new requirements have been insufficient. …

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