Pennsylvania’s Black Caucus to Take Stand Against Voter ID Law

The group will join the NAACP to rally against the laws before the legislation goes on trial.

Posted: 06/26/2013 03:26 PM EDT
Pennsylvania's Black Caucus to Take Stand Against Voter ID Law

In the wake of Tuesday's Supreme Court’s ruling to do away with a portion of the Voting Rights Act, the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus has revealed its plan to push back against the state’s voter identification law.

Members of the caucus and the NAACP have announced a rally on July 11 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda. The state’s voter ID law is set to go on trial at the Commonwealth Court starting on July 15.

“It is vitally important that we continue to decry the gross perpetration of injustice upon our citizens. We will continue to stay on the offense,” said state Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown (D-Philadelphia), the chairwoman of the Legislative Black Caucus, as reported by Penn Live.

Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson said that the voter ID law threatens voting rights by disenfranchising more than 750,000 people.

An injunction was placed on the law last year and prohibited its enforcement during the 2012 election. The upcoming trial will decide whether it will be lifted or made permanent in the next election cycle.

If the state prevails, for the first time, voters in Pennsylvania will be required to have state-approved identification at the polls. Although the Department of State has developed a photo ID card for voters without driver’s licenses, the plaintiffs’ lawyers said that only about 17,000 such IDs have been issued and tens of thousands of voters would lack the necessary credentials to vote.

While the GOP asserts that the law is meant to combat voter fraud, those against voter IDs say that such laws are a voter suppression tactic that would hurt the state’s minority voter turnout. 

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(Photo: Michael Perez/AP Photo)

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