Closing Arguments at Pa. Voter ID Hearing

Judge plans to issue a ruling by late Aug. on the possible fate of the new photo ID requirement for the Nov. 6 election

Update: The one thing both sides agreed on as a hearing on Pennsylvania's new voter-identification law ended is that each will appeal a ruling for the other side.

A lawyer for plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to bar the law from taking effect on Election Day said in closing arguments Thursday that more than 1 million voters lack a valid photo ID.

Vic Walczak of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania said many may be unable to vote because they don't understand the new photo ID requirement or cannot get an ID in time.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Patrick Cawley said the Legislature had broad latitude in writing election laws.

Cawley urged Judge Robert Simpson to let the law stand and allow the continuation of campaigns to educate voters.

Closing arguments are the only unfinished business in a Commonwealth Court hearing on Pennsylvania's new voter-identification law.

Lawyers in the case are scheduled to make their final summations Thursday before Judge Robert Simpson. The judge plans to issue his ruling later this month.

More than two dozen witnesses have testified during the seven-day hearing, including state elections officials, individual voters, a pollster and an expert on election fraud.

Republicans in the Legislature passed the bill earlier this year without a single Democratic vote.

Democrats contend that the law is a political scheme to suppress voting by minorities, senior citizens and others with the objective of giving GOP nominee-apparent Mitt Romney an edge over Democratic incumbent Barack Obama, who carried the state in 2008.

Click here for the Pennsylvania voter ID website.

Click here for the PennDOT voter ID website.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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