The state's elections chief says identification cards issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) are the best choice for voters seeking to comply with the new voter ID law. But a lawyer seeking to block the law said other ID cards are just as valid and easier to obtain for many voters.
Testifying Tuesday in Commonwealth Court, Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele defended her department's efforts to make PennDOT driver's licenses and non-driver IDs the standard for complying with the photo ID requirement that takes effect in the Nov. 6 election.
But Washington lawyer David Gersch said that poses a problem for voters without a birth certificate or Social Security card. He said many voters can obtain absentee ballots or planned special State Department ID cards without such rigorous documentation.
A leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also testified Tuesday, saying the implementation of Pennsylvania's new voter ID law has confused voters and slowed the organization's efforts to register voters.
John Jordan, whose group is a plaintiff in the lawsuit seeking to block the photo ID requirement from taking effect as scheduled on Election Day, says multiple revisions to the rules for obtaining valid IDs have left voters' heads spinning shortly before a presidential election. He says the NAACP's efforts to educate voters about the law have made it more difficult to focus on registering voters.
Lawyers in the week-old case are scheduled to call their final witnesses Wednesday and to make closing arguments Thursday.
Check here for the acceptable photo ID on Election Day.