Hundreds of people from across Pennsylvania took their anger over the state’s new voter-identification law to the Capitol steps Tuesday, saying the law will make it harder for minorities, the poor, and the elderly to vote. Several dozen speakers addressed a rally organized by the Pennsylvania chapter of the NAACP, with nearly all asking the same question: If the state could offer no evidence of the kind of voter fraud the ID law targets, why was that law needed? “If even one person is turned away from the ballot box in the Keystone State because he or she does not have the correct ID, it will be especially tragic, given that the bill sponsors could not come up with a single instance of voter fraud in the history of the state in which the photo ID would have made one iota of a difference,” Hilary O. Shelton, the NAACP’S national senior vice president for advocacy, told the rally.
State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams (D., Phila.) put it this way: “Did George Washington have a voter-ID card? Did John Adams? Hell, no.” Many speakers pressed arguments made by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and others in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the law. Hearings in that case begin Wednesday.
The ACLU contends that the law will unfairly burden the poor and the elderly, arguing that they are less likely to have photo identification and may have greater difficulty tracking down the documents needed to get ID from the state. Kathy Jellison, president of the Service Employees International Union, asked the crowd, “Is it just that those hurt most are the poor, minorities, and the majority of those folks live in the birthplace of freedom, Philadelphia?”
Full Article: Voter-ID protesters take their case to Pa. Capitol.