More testify to difficulties with photo ID in challenging Pa. law

    As the hearing on the challenge to Pennsylvania’s voter ID law resumes Monday in Commonwealth Court, testimony from last week included that of plaintiffs who say they’ll be disenfranchised by the requirement to show photo identification at the polls.

    Asher Schor has recently changed her name.

    At birth, she was Devra.

    But what she’s concerned about, as the election draws near, is that the photo and gender designation on her driver’s license both indicate she is female.

    That was all before the double mastectomy, and before Schor began taking testosterone supplements late last year.

    She’s says she’s undergoing a medical transition, and expects to look increasingly masculine.

    That poses a dilemma she says she shares with thousands of other transgender people in Pennsylvania.

    “As November comes up, more and more changes will be happening to my body and I don’t want to have my right to vote contingent on whether or not a poll worker thinks that I look like my ID or not,” Schor said Friday.

    Other testimony came from Taylor Floria, a 19-year-old with autism.

    Floria says he’s tried to get a license – he has all the necessary documents – but the PennDOT center environment is too taxing for him, given the sensory overload, and his own communication difficulties and chronic fatigue.

    Other testimony focused on the special ID the state intends to issue for voting purposes. It was the brainchild of Kurt Myers, a deputy secretary with PennDOT, who testified Friday.

    He says the card will be available Aug. 26, aiming to equip registered voters with photo ID needed to vote, even if they can’t produce the documents they need to get a PennDOT license.

    One of the attorneys challenging the law says the card still raises questions.

    “If you don’t have a Social Security number, you don’t have to bring that. If you don’t have any kind of birth certificate, you don’t have that,” said Jennifer Clarke. “So why make people go through this process when it’s very little more than what you actually do today at the voting booth?”

    Clarke said there’s still no guarantee the card will be ready for distribution in late August.

    On the stand, Myers disagreed, although a contract document with the vendor providing the cards does not list Aug. 26 as a set date for distribution.

    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.