Testimony Highlights Controversy of Pennsylvania’s New Voter ID Law
By Cherri Gregg
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — On day four of the courtroom battle over Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law (see related stories), a top elections official admits that the Commonwealth has no idea how many voters do not have valid ID for voting.
Original figures from the Pennsylvania Department of State predicted that only 89,000 voters needed to obtain a new ID for voting. But in June, new estimates indicated the number could be as high as 750,000.
Today, Jonathan Marks, head of the State Bureau of Elections, testified that the new numbers are inaccurate, citing problems with Penndot (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) and voter database comparisons. He says the Department of State has received hundreds of calls from voters who are on the list who say they already have Penndot ID.
Judge Robert Simpson asked Marks how an injunction and possibly a reversal by the state Supreme Court would affect the state’s efforts to educate voters and to get IDs to those who need them.
Marks said the state would use its best efforts to comply with all court rulings.
Also taking the stand today was Tia Sutter, a registered voter who providing emotional testimony about years of turmoil in trying to obtain a Penndot photo ID card.
Sutter graduated from law school and worked as a Philadelphia assistant district attorney for more than a decade, but says she cannot get an ID because the name listed on her birth certificate, “Christine Sutter,” differs from her legal name as it appears on her Social Security card.
Sutter claims the only form of photo ID she has is a college ID from the 1970s.