Tags: aclu | voter | id | law

ACLU Sues Over New Pa. Voter ID Law

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 02:39 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is asking a court to throw out Pennsylvania’s new voter identification law, saying it disenfranchises voters, according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

The law, which requires voters to present a valid photo ID, was tested in the recent state primary. But the Pennsylvania ACLU said the law creates an undue burden on up to 90,000 voters, many of them elderly and poor, by forcing them to acquire something they have never had.

“Far from protecting the integrity of Pennsylvania elections, the Photo ID law will lead to elections that are no longer free and equal,” the ACLU says in its complaint filed on behalf of 10 state voters.

According to the Patriot-News, several of those involved in the lawsuit claim their home state can’t produce a valid birth certificate, which is required under the new law to obtain a valid photo ID.

The ACLU filing also complains that Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s promise to provide voters with a free photo ID is false because the state refuses to waive the $10 fee for issuing a birth certificate. The complaint says many women, who might have adopted a husband’s last name, hyphenated their names after marriage, or returned to a maiden name after divorce, could also have trouble obtaining an acceptable ID.

The Pennsylvania law, which took effect in March, is considered one of the toughest new voter ID laws in the country.

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