Reporting Cherri Gregg
By Cherri Gregg
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - After six days of testimony, the showdown over Pennsylvania’s voter ID law will culminate this morning with closing arguments.
The ACLU challenged the law on constitutional grounds, arguing it unnecessarily requires voters to produce strict documentation, like raised sealed birth certificates just to get an ID. The measure passed in March, with an alleged goal to prevent voter fraud.
But the state has said there is no evidence of voter fraud in Pennsylvania.
Yesterday, Rutgers professor Lorraine Minnite testified for plaintiffs that she spent years researching voter fraud, looking at court records and conducting interviews only to find that in-person voter fraud, the type of fraud prevented by voter ID laws- is exceedingly rare, and that voter ID laws are obstacles for poor voters.
“We have to be understanding that not all people have the resources that middle class people have and how asking people for ID may actually be a big barrier.”
She says out of 197 mil votes cast nationally between 2002 and 2005- federal prosecutors filed 95 election fraud indictments, with only 26 involving voters. Minnite says voter ID laws results in suppressing the vote of vulnerable populations, like minorities and those with low-income.
Department of State officials testified their goal is to ensure all voters have ID. Judge Robert Simpson is expected to rule on the case in about two weeks.