Voter ID update
Voter ID update
Civil rights and other groups seeking to overturn the state's controversial voter ID law are asking a Commonwealth Court judge to block the law from taking effect until all appeals have been exhausted.
The ACLU of Pennsylvania and other public interest groups are also asking Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley to prevent poll workers, come the November election, from asking voters to show ID - or even informing them that it will be required in future elections - while the case is being decided. Whatever the outcome in Commonwealth Court, the case is widely expected to be appealed to the state Supreme Court.
"The uncontroverted evidence illustrates that this practice has only confused poll workers and voters, with no benefit to anyone," the petitioners' brief, filed Monday, reads.
The state said during the trial, which concluded last week, that it had no problem extending the injunction on the law through this November's election.
But in its response, also filed Monday, the state countered that there is no reason to extend such and injunction beyond the November election - or expand it to prevent poll workers from mentioning the law to voters.
"The only election that is imminent is the November 13  election," according to the state's brief.
The state's brief also notes that the Commonwealth Court judge who heard the case last summer decided to enjoin the law from taking effect for last fall's presidential election - but nonetheless allowed poll workers to ask voters for ID, and inform them about the law.
The state noted that the previous judge found that simply asking a voter for identification is not "an offending activity."
Pennsylvania's voter ID law requires that voters show specific types of ID before they can vote. Since the measure was signed into law in the spring of last year, the state has expanded the types of ID voters are allowed to show.
The ACLU and others have argued that the law will disenfranchise many voters - a disproportionate number of them elderly, disabled or minorities; the state has countered that everyone who is eligible to vote an obtain the required photo ID at no cost.
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