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How Much Is Voter ID Defense Costing PA?

Pennsylvania taxpayers still haven’t seen a final tab on what the state is being charged by a private firm to defend the voter identification law in court. In fact, a contract was not publicly available until the day after closing arguments were delivered in the case.

Philadelphia firm Drinker, Biddle and Reath hasn’t yet sent an invoice to the state for services rendered in 2013.

The hourly rate ranges from $325 to $495. Last year, the firm was paid more than $204,000 for defense of voter ID as judges considered temporarily blocking the law.

The contract with Drinker, Biddle and Reath has been missing from a public website for an unknown period of time. It was finally posted the day after closing arguments wrapped up in the Commonwealth Court trial.

"It wasn't there earlier today (Friday)," said Department of State spokesman Ron Ruman. "I don't know why."

The private lawyers aren’t the only ones working on the defense team. Lawyers with the Attorney General’s office and the governor’s Office of General Counsel are also on the case.

It won’t end with a ruling from the Commonwealth Court judge who just sat through a more than two-week-long trial. Both sides in the case say an appeal to the state Supreme Court is inevitable.