Lower court takes up Pa. voter ID decision

    Pennsylvania’s voter ID law goes once again before the same Commonwealth Court judge who last month denied a request to block it. 

    The lower court will consider new information to help answer the question of whether or not the photo identification requirement at the polls is being implemented well enough that no voters will be denied their right to cast ballots.

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the lower court judge to block the law unless he can be certain of two things: that newly created state-issued IDs are available to all, and that the cards’ availability means no voters will be disenfranchised due to the photo ID requirement.

    Law professor Bruce Ledewitz, of Duquesne University School of Law, says not only does this sound tricky to do — it is. “It’s an impossible task,” he said.Not so, argue attorneys for the commonwealth in their pre-hearing brief.  They write the judge must only confirm his earlier opinion that voter ID won’t disenfranchise a “substantial” number of voters.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    The commonwealth also accuses its legal challengers of being too quick to cry “disenfranchisement” when referring to the creation of an “extra step” to vote, that not all voters may take.

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

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal