One of several controversial “voter ID” laws is on trial in the state where American democracy was born.
The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court, which sits in Philadelphia, is deciding an appeal of the state’s new law, which requires citizens to show a government-issued, college or long-term care facility photo ID — one that includes an expiration date — as proof of identity before they can cast a ballot in November.
Supporters say the law will prevent voter fraud and ensure the integrity and credibility of the election process. Opponents charge it will lead to voter suppression and lower the participation of minorities, the elderly and the poor.
Those arguments got a full airing in court Thursday.
Branding voter ID “a serious threat,” David Gresch, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, told the court that between now and Nov. 6th, “there’s too little time, there are too many people affected, and there is no place in the statute which guarantees that qualified electors can get the ID they need to vote.”
“There’s no problem requiring voter ID to vote. The vice is in requiring ID that people don’t have and have a hard time getting.”