Closing arguments in voter ID case expected Thursday

    After more than two weeks of testimony, the end of Pennsylvania’s voter identification trial is in sight.

     

    Closing arguments over the law’s constitutionality are set for Thursday morning.

    The announcement came as something of an anti-climax Wednesday as came prepared to deliver their final arguments.

    Instead, an ongoing dispute between legal teams prompted the judge to clear the courtroom of media. Lawyers huddled in their respective standby rooms as a clerk shuttled back and forth looking for a resolution.

    Challengers of voter ID say based on state agency data, hundreds of voters tried — and failed — to get a state-created last-resort ID card in time for last year’s general election.

    They argue it shows the commonwealth is unable to ensure people won’t be disenfranchised by the voter ID requirement.

    Alicia Hickok, a lawyer hired by the commonwealth to defend voter ID, says that assessment is “absolutely and completely wrong.”

    “First of all, it’s based upon counsel’s assumptions. And it doesn’t have anything to do with the underlying spreadsheet monitored or what the spreadsheet was capturing in data,” she said.

    Voter ID opponents say the state fought to keep the contested numbers confidential and out of the trial record.

    “They wanted that kept private. We had a number of disputes in there about the availability of this information to the public,” attorney Jennifer Clarke said. “They didn’t want any of it out there.”

    The judge has accepted the evidence into the record, but hasn’t decided whether to consider testimony about the numbers.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.