Opponents of Voter ID Rally Before Monday Trial

Jul 12, 2013

NAACP President Ben Jealous speaks in opposition of Pennsylvania's voter ID law at the Capitol rotunda Thursday.
Credit Mary Wilson / 90.5 WESA

Groups opposed to the state's voter ID law are gearing up for Monday's trial of the law in Commonwealth Court.

The full panoply of liberal political interests filled the Capitol rotunda Thursday. Roughly 150 people turned out — union members, environmental advocates and civil rights activists — all to protest Pennsylvania's law requiring people to have certain state-issued IDs to cast ballots.

The NAACP's national president Ben Jealous called Pennsylvania "ground zero for the fight for voting rights in the north."

"We need everyone who can be at the courthouse on Monday to be there," he said. "This judge needs to see, the state needs to see, our nation needs to see, just how important this trial is."

Supporters say the measure combats voter fraud, but opponents say it will disenfranchise those voters who have difficulty getting the required ID.

The upcoming trial will decide if Pennsylvania's voter ID law is constitutional. Past court rulings were temporary, blocking the law's enforcement in the 2012 general election and this year's primary. The ruling is expected to be appealed to the state Supreme Court.