Voter ID: Applewhite v. Commonwealth


Voter ID Law Debated over Seven Days of Trial

From July 25-August 2, 2012, the Law Center, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, Arnold & Porter and the Advancement Project presented our case against the Voter ID law in Commonwealth Court, asking Judge Robert Simpson to grant a preliminary injunction that will prevent the law from going into effect before the November election.

We heard moving testimony from over a dozen real people who stand to be disenfranchised by the law because they do not have the documentation necessary to obtain photo ID or cannot travel to a PennDOT location. We also heard from experts who described the barriers many people face when trying to obtain ID, the large number of Pennsylvanians – on the scale of one million – who do not have the ID they’ll need, and the non-existence of the type of in-person voter fraud the law is meant to prevent. Meanwhile, Commonwealth officials testified that they do not really know what the law says, have no expectation that voter fraud would occur without the law, and have no plan in place to distribute IDs to all of the roughly one million voters who may need it before November.

We expect a decision from Judge Simpson the week of August 13th.

For summaries and transcripts of each day at trial, click here