By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The first major test of ten new state voter ID laws took place yesterday, as Texas implemented its voter ID measure. Local watchdogs are watching to see how the tests will impact Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania’s voter ID is considered the most restrictive in the nation. In January the Commonwealth Court ruled the law is unconstitutional, but Governor Tom Corbett’s lawyers have asked the court to reconsider. Voting rights advocate Marian Schneider of Advancement Project says she’ll be watching closely the roll out of voter ID in other states:
“[For] voters who may be turned away at the polls because they lack an acceptable ID, the number of voters who may be forced to vote by provisional ballot because they lack acceptable ID,” says Schneider, “it may take some analysis afterward to see how the law impacted turnout.”
Schneider says the test is whether states with restrictive laws like Texas, Mississippi and North Carolina will turn away otherwise qualified voters. She says the least restrictive voter ID laws have a long list of acceptable IDs, as well as a catchall for voters who are unable to obtain ID to vote.
“In other words, a voter that does not have a voter ID can sign an affirmation at a polling place and still get a regular ballot,” says Schneider.
Supporters of voter ID will also be watching to prove voter ID prevents voter fraud.