The Justice Department is investigating Pennsylvania’s new voter identification law, a letter sent to the state government Monday indicates. The letter from Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez seeks a variety of records related to the implementation of the voter ID, which was passed in March and is set to take effect before the November election. Among the items Perez is requesting are databases of Pennsylvania voters and holders of drivers’ licenses and similar state IDs. It’s not clear precisely what triggered the letter but it refers to an estimate Secretary of State Carol Aichele issued earlier this month indicating that 9.2 percent of the state’s 8.2 million voters don’t have a state-issued photo ID. However, a state-issued ID is not the only form of acceptable voting ID, which includes passports, military ID and some student IDs.
The Justice Department’s inquiry to Pennsylvania is interesting because it’s the first sign of interest by the federal government recently in a voter ID law in a state that is not covered by the pre-clearance requirements of the Voting Rights Act. To block the Pennsylvania law, the feds would actually have to sue the state, instead of the other way around. And such a suit would face a high hurdle because of the Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law in 2008.
Full Article: Feds investigating Pennsylvania voter ID law – POLITICO.com.