Controversial Voter ID Trial Begins Monday
A trial, set to begin Monday morning, will decide whether Pennsylvania’s voter ID law is constitutional.
The law was signed by Governor Tom Corbett in 2012, but was never enforced because it was quickly contested by civil rights groups and ultimately brought in front of a judge.
If this voter ID law is deemed fair in court, it’ll be one of the strictest in the nation.
Groups opposing the law are worried that historical rulings of what so many people fought for years ago are being thrown out the window here in Pennsylvania.
The backlash from a law that was signed last year by Governor Corbett hasn’t quieted down…in fact it’s grown louder, especially in the Capital city.
“Harrisburg is ground zero for the fight for voting rights in the north,” said someone who opposes of the law at a voter ID rally.
The worry from opposers is it discriminates against those who don’t have an ID or can’t get access to one.
“It serves to disenfranchise a great number of people,” says Abigail Newburger of Newburg, Cumberland County.
But some argue, how hard can getting an ID really be?
“I don’t think it’s a whole lot to ask,” says Jack Mitchell of Camp Hill.
Those for the law believe people who truly want to vote can take the appropriate steps to get an ID.
And better yet, the state offers it for free.
“Anybody who can register to vote in Pennsylvania can obtain a free ID and can do it rather quickly and easily with the same information they need to register to vote,” says Nils Frederiksen, the press secretary for Pennsylvania’s Office of General Counsel.
Voters say this law would give people more protection against fraud.
“I can say I’m you and that’s not fair..because then you won’t be able to vote,” says Luci Alvarez of Mechanicsburg.
Lawyers for the Plaintiffs say fewer than 20,000 state issued photo ID’s have been requested.
But, there are many more who still lack the credentials that could be required in future state elections.
“We don’t think the facts have changed on the ground there’s at least a 100 thousand probably hundreds of thousands that don’t have an ID,” says Michael Rubin, an attorney for opponents of the ID law.
Attorneys don’t think the 9 days which are set aside for the trial will be enough.
They expect the final decision to be left up to the State Supreme Court.