In a trial set to start next week, lawyers from a coalition of liberal-leaning and civil rights groups will attempt to strike down a statute that requires all voters in Pennsylvania to present particular forms of photo identification before casting their ballots. The law has been the subject of controversy since the state’s Republican legislature and governor passed it in the spring of 2012. In September, a Pennsylvania judge stopped the law from going into effect, and lawyers for the plaintiffs are now hoping to wipe it from the books entirely. If they fail, Pennsylvania could become the latest state to require voters to show some form of ID at the polls, a recent trend viewed by critics as an attack on the voting rights of poor people and members of minority groups, who are less likely to possess drivers’ licenses or other forms of identification.
Richard Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine, and an expert on election law, said he expects the trial to be closely watched. “Pennsylvania is important nationally,” he said. “It’s a battleground state.”
For proponents of voting rights around the country, the case will unfold against a backdrop of uncertainty over the future of access to the polls for minority groups and the poor.
Full Article: Voter ID Trial Gets Underway In Pennsylvania.