Summer trial likely on Pa. voter ID case

    A Pennsylvania judge says a summer trial is likely in a case over the state’s controversial voter identification law.

    The measure was partially blocked for the November election, but a full trial awaits on the merits of the case brought against the commonwealth.

    Lawyers suing the state say the law requiring voters to show photo ID before casting ballots is unconstitutional.

    One of them, Vic Walczak of the Pennsylvania ACLU, says the commonwealth has issued 16,000 IDs for voting purposes since the law was passed — far fewer than the 100,000 voters the judge estimated to be without proper ID.

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    “So you’ve still got a gap of at least 85,000 voters who do not have the kind of ID they need to vote,” Walczak said. “So if you had Election Day tomorrow, you’re talking about 85,000 people who are going to be disenfranchised.”

    Walczak and other opponents plan to ask that the preliminary injunction that partially blocked the law in November be extended.

    The commonwealth’s attorney says he’s not sure how he’ll respond to that request.

    Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson said a hearing may need to be scheduled before the summer on how to deal with that decision, and whether the law should be blocked for the May 21.

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