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Women Testifying on Pennsylvania Voter ID Law

The court case against a new Pennsylvania voter ID law began last week. Elderly women, members of minority populations, college students, Pennsylvanians with disabilities, and transgender individuals have testified in the case against the new law, claiming it would disenfranchise them. This law would require anyone voting in Pennsylvania to show specific government issued photo IDs. Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State estimates that 758,000 registered voters lack the proper ID. Bea Bookler, a 94 year-old Pennsylvanian who has voted in every election since the 1940s, testified in court that she, and many women like her, will be disenfranchised by this law. Over time, she has lost her social security card, birth certificate, and marriage license, and is also unable to make the long trip to her nearest PennDOT office. When asked why she bothers to go to the polls to vote if her mobility is so limited, she insisted, “I would never not vote. How proud I am to live in a country is a real democracy. And anything that prevents people from voting is taking away our democracy. Democracy is only real if we all participate.” Earlier this year, Republican Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turazi claimed that the new law would “allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania” in the November election. Opponents of the law have cried foul. The state does not have any evidence to suggest that voter fraud has occurred or will occur in Pennsylvania elections. The US Department of Justice is looking into the law due to evidence suggesting the law discriminates against minority groups. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson will issue a ruling in August. His ruling will most likely be appealed to the state’s Supreme Court.

Sources:

NBC Philadelphia 7/25/12; Huffington Post 7/24/12; The Daily Pennsylvanian 7/25/12; ACLU PA blog 7/30/12

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