A former policy director for Pennsylvania’s Department of State defended the state’s tough voter identification law yesterday as a reasonable compromise that followed intense negotiations, even though it omits changes that the department proposed to ease some of the requirements. Lawyers for plaintiffs seeking to overturn the mandatory photo ID requirement yesterday questioned the official, Rebecca Oyler, about memos and emails describing negotiations over the legislation in late 2011. Oyler cited examples of her department’s suggestions that were rejected. One called for excusing residents of long-term care facilities from the photo requirement and allowing them to vote through the simpler process of absentee voting. Instead, the law allows the facilities to issue photo IDs.
When asked if the department could do anything more to improve it, Oyler replied, “I think we’ve done everything that we see as being reasonable.”
Oyler’s testimony on the sixth day of a trial in Commonwealth Court showed the Republican architects of the law, including the GOP majorities that control the Legislature and Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, sought to make the law as tough as possible, said Michael Rubin, an attorney for plaintiffs.
Full Article: Voter ID law defended in high court.