Opponents rally before Pa. Supreme Court hearing on voter ID

Before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments on the voter ID law, several hundred people rallied across the street from the Philadelphia courtroom to send a message.

NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous says similar voter ID laws have been fought back across the country.

“The question in front of Pennsylvania today is which way Pennsylvania, forward in line with the tradition of democracy in this country or backwards towards dark days long since forgotten,” asked Jealous.

Republican consultant Lenny McAllister opposes the law, saying his party should not try to steal the election.

“I also caution my fellow republicans against taking back America by taking away legitimate access to ballot boxes,” said McAllister.

ACLU Attorney Richard Shafer says if voter ID laws are upheld nationwide, about five million people could be barred from the ballot box.

Supporters of the voter ID law maintain Pennsylvania is making every effort to ensure voters aren’t disenfranchised for lack of an ID. They point to longer hours at PennDOT offices to the new “voting only” photo ID as evidence.

The groups vow to make sure no one is disenfranchised if the law is upheld.

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.