Voter ID http://wesa.fm en Corbett Mulling Next Move On Voter ID http://wesa.fm/post/corbett-mulling-next-move-voter-id <p>Days after a state judge struck down Pennsylvania voter identification law, Gov. Tom Corbett says he’s not sure whether his administration will appeal the ruling.<br /><br />The law was passed at the urging of the Corbett administration by the Republican-controlled Legislature, over protests from Democrats. Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley rejected the law in a ruling released last Friday, calling voter ID unconstitutional based in part on its flawed implementation and its foundation on a “vague concern” of voter fraud.<br /> Fri, 24 Jan 2014 12:37:57 +0000 Mary Wilson 23285 at http://wesa.fm Judge Spikes Photo ID Requirement for PA Voters http://wesa.fm/post/judge-spikes-photo-id-requirement-pa-voters <p>A state judge has struck down the law requiring Pennsylvania's voters to show photo identification at the polls.<br /><br />Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley said the requirement that was the centerpiece of Pennsylvania's embattled 2012 voter identification law places an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote.<br /><br />The decision paves the way for an expected appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Republicans approved the law over the protests of Democrats.<br /> Fri, 17 Jan 2014 15:20:41 +0000 The Associated Press 22973 at http://wesa.fm Sen. Smith Opposes Voter ID Ads http://wesa.fm/post/sen-smith-opposes-voter-id-ads <p>Pennsylvania Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny) is urging the commonwealth’s State Department to stop airing its voter ID advertisements.</p><p>The ads, which began running earlier this week, say voters will be asked, but not required, to show a photo ID at the polls, but Smith said the commercials are almost identical to the original ads that say photo ID is a requirement.</p><p>Smith calls the ads “confusing” and “misleading” because they give the impression that identification will be mandatory for the November municipal elections.</p> Fri, 11 Oct 2013 17:19:35 +0000 Michael Lynch 18005 at http://wesa.fm PA Judge Bars ID Enforcement in November Election http://wesa.fm/post/pa-judge-bars-id-enforcement-november-election <p>A state judge on Friday barred enforcement of Pennsylvania's strict voter-identification law in the Nov. 5 general election.<br><br>The state also cannot require local elections officials to verbally tell voters at the polls that photo IDs could be required in future elections, but officials can distribute written material about the law, Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley said.<br><br>McGinley's ruling marked the third consecutive election in which enforcement of the law has been blocked by court order.<br> Fri, 16 Aug 2013 20:15:05 +0000 The Associated Press 14999 at http://wesa.fm How Much Is Voter ID Defense Costing PA? http://wesa.fm/post/how-much-voter-id-defense-costing-pa <p>Pennsylvania taxpayers still haven’t seen a final tab on what the state is being charged by a private firm to defend the voter identification law in court. In fact, a contract was not publicly available until the day after closing arguments were delivered in the case.<br><br>Philadelphia firm Drinker, Biddle and Reath hasn’t yet sent an invoice to the state for services rendered in 2013.<br><br>The hourly rate ranges from $325 to $495. Last year, the firm was paid more than $204,000 for defense of voter ID as judges considered temporarily blocking the law.<br> Tue, 06 Aug 2013 14:05:54 +0000 Mary Wilson 14365 at http://wesa.fm State Willing to Extend Temporary Block on Voter ID Law http://wesa.fm/post/state-willing-extend-temporary-block-voter-id-law <p>The commonwealth is willing to extend the temporary block on the voter ID law through the upcoming general election in the fall.<br><br>The statement came from lawyers for the state during closing arguments in the Commonwealth Court trial of the constitutionality of the voter identification law.<br><br>Challengers argue it should be not just blocked temporarily, but struck down.<br><br>Jennifer Clarke, one of the lawyers arguing against the measure, said the commonwealth’s offer to extend the temporary block surprised her.<br> Thu, 01 Aug 2013 20:00:38 +0000 Mary Wilson 14140 at http://wesa.fm Closing Arguments Postponed in PA Voter ID Trial http://wesa.fm/post/closing-arguments-postponed-pa-voter-id-trial <p>Closing arguments in the trial of Pennsylvania's voter-identification law have been postponed for a day, but the state's legal team filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.</p><p>Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley scheduled the arguments for Thursday and said he'd review the motion.</p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 21:01:11 +0000 The Associated Press 14082 at http://wesa.fm Statisticians' Reports Paint Two Divergent Pictures In PA Voter ID Trial http://wesa.fm/post/statisticians-reports-paint-two-divergent-pictures-pa-voter-id-trial <p>Court is in recess for now in the trial over the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's voter identification law. The trial is scheduled to resume on Tuesday.<br><br>Questions of numbers and statistical techniques filled the ninth day of testimony. Lawyers spent hours questioning the state's statistician, William Wecker, who offered a critique of the estimate provided in testimony last week that half a million Pennsylvania voters don't have proper voter ID on record with the commonwealth.<br> Fri, 26 Jul 2013 02:57:02 +0000 Mary Wilson 13770 at http://wesa.fm Pennsylvania Voter ID Case Drags On http://wesa.fm/post/pennsylvania-voter-id-case-drags <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial; font-size: 15px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent;">In the ongoing battle between the state of Pennsylvania and the opponents of the state’s controversial voter ID laws, it appears that the trial will drag on slower than expected. The root of this slow down in the Commonwealth Court case is, according to WESA capital correspondent and WITF reporter Mary Wilson, a spat between the court’s two sides over a list of roughly 500 people whose attempts to attain identification proved fruitless.</span> Thu, 25 Jul 2013 20:23:37 +0000 John Lavanga 13740 at http://wesa.fm Pennsylvania Voter ID Case Drags On State Begins Case in Voter ID Trial http://wesa.fm/post/state-begins-case-voter-id-trial <p>Eight days into trial, lawyers defending Pennsylvania's voter identification law still may ask the presiding judge to dismiss the case entirely.<br><br>Nils Hagen-Frederiksen, spokesman for the lawyers defending the requirement, said a motion may be filed to dismiss certain witness testimony and claims made by the challengers.<br> Thu, 25 Jul 2013 11:27:35 +0000 Mary Wilson 13712 at http://wesa.fm For Voter ID, State Suggests Witnesses Should Ask Their Lawyers http://wesa.fm/post/voter-id-state-suggests-witnesses-should-ask-their-lawyers <p>State lawyers defending Pennsylvania's voter identification law are pointing out that those who claim they've been unable to get a valid ID haven't exhausted every possibility, even if that possibility comes from the legal team bringing them into court.<br><br>Challengers have presented several witnesses who testify they've been unable to get the proper ID for voting because they can't get to a PennDOT licensing center. They cite age, pain, disability and difficulty finding a ride.<br> Wed, 24 Jul 2013 11:34:55 +0000 Mary Wilson 13650 at http://wesa.fm Memo Reveals Agencies Concerned Voter ID Would Disenfranchise Some http://wesa.fm/post/memo-reveals-agencies-concerned-voter-id-would-disenfranchise-some <p>Testimony in the second week of a trial of Pennsylvania's voter identification law is digging into the documentation of how the language of the law was finalized.<br><br>Two state agencies suggested in 2011 that the voter ID legislation then making its way through the Legislature should make it easier for elderly and disabled voters to cast absentee ballots.<br><br>A memo from the Department of Aging and the Department of State points out the change would provide a way for such people to vote even if they had trouble getting photo ID because of illness or limited mobility.<br> Tue, 23 Jul 2013 11:34:04 +0000 Mary Wilson 13584 at http://wesa.fm Voter ID On Trial: An Update From the Capitol http://wesa.fm/post/voter-id-trial-update-capitol <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial; font-size: 15px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent;">Pennsylvania’s controversial voter ID law has come back to trial in the Commonwealth court, and both sides are making serious plays.&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.witf.org/">WITF</a>’s&nbsp;&nbsp;capital reporter Mary Wilson says the first few days of testimony were brimming with testimony from those challenging the laws, but talk of voter fraud -- one of the issues legislators emphasized most when passing the law -- was surprisingly limited.</span> Thu, 18 Jul 2013 22:38:57 +0000 John Lavanga 13348 at http://wesa.fm Voter ID On Trial: An Update From the Capitol Sparring Over Numbers in Voter ID Trial http://wesa.fm/post/sparring-over-numbers-voter-id-trial <p>The battle over numbers swells anew in the voter ID trial, headed into its third day in Commonwealth Court Wednesday.</p><p>Tuesday's testimony began with a statistician's analysis that more than half a million registered voters in Pennsylvania would have no valid ID issued by PennDOT or the Department of State in the upcoming general election.</p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 10:27:50 +0000 Mary Wilson 13260 at http://wesa.fm Voter ID Challengers Hint at Telling Memo http://wesa.fm/post/voter-id-challengers-hint-telling-memo <p>Lawyers challenging the voter ID law say the governor knew it was trouble.</p><p>In the opening argument for the plaintiffs, attorney Michael Rubin, said he'll share a memo sent by state agencies to the Corbett administration warning the law would disenfranchise elderly and disabled eligible voters unless changes were made. The administration did not push lawmakers to make the suggested changes.</p><p>The memo, Rubin said, is from November 2011 — several months before the passage of voter ID.</p> Tue, 16 Jul 2013 11:02:00 +0000 Mary Wilson 13190 at http://wesa.fm Voter ID Fight Resumes in Pennsylvania Court http://wesa.fm/post/voter-id-fight-resumes-pennsylvania-court <div><p>Pennsylvania's controversial voter ID law is back in Commonwealth Court this week, but it's unlikely to be decided conclusively any time soon.<br><br>Voting rights advocates are seeking a permanent injunction against the 2012 law, which requires Pennsylvania voters to present state-issued photo identification in order to cast a ballot. Implementation was postponed ahead of last year's general election and again in 2013 in advance of the May primary.<br> Mon, 15 Jul 2013 02:20:34 +0000 Josh Raulerson 13102 at http://wesa.fm Voter ID Fight Resumes in Pennsylvania Court Opponents of Voter ID Rally Before Monday Trial http://wesa.fm/post/opponents-voter-id-rally-monday-trial <p>Groups opposed to the state's voter ID law are gearing up for Monday's trial of the law in Commonwealth Court.</p><p>The full panoply of liberal political interests filled the Capitol rotunda Thursday. Roughly 150 people turned out — union members, environmental advocates and civil rights activists — all to protest Pennsylvania's law requiring people to have certain state-issued IDs to cast ballots.</p><p>The NAACP's national president Ben Jealous called Pennsylvania "ground zero for the fight for voting rights in the north."</p> Fri, 12 Jul 2013 11:46:18 +0000 Mary Wilson 12991 at http://wesa.fm Opponents of Voter ID Rally Before Monday Trial No ID Needed For PA Voters in May Primary http://wesa.fm/post/no-id-needed-pa-voters-may-primary <p>Pennsylvania voters will not be required to show photo identification in the May 21 primary election under an agreement signed Thursday by both sides in a pending&nbsp;lawsuit.</p><p>Lawyers representing the Corbett administration and plaintiffs who are challenging the constitutionality of the voter&nbsp;ID law in state Commonwealth Court agreed that the law won't be enforced as voters choose nominees for judicial and municipal&nbsp;offices.</p> Fri, 15 Feb 2013 19:27:22 +0000 mnootbaar 1042 at http://wesa.fm