Pennsylvania gets its turn in voter ID trial

HARRISBURG, Pa. - It's the state's turn to make its case that Pennsylvania's voter identification law conforms to the state constitution.

Lawyers in the 8-day-old Commonwealth Court trial began presenting witnesses Wednesday.

Plaintiffs want to overturn a March 2012 law requiring all voters to show an acceptable photo ID as a condition of casting a ballot.

Plaintiffs, including the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and Philadelphia's Homeless Advocacy Project, said the law cannot be implemented without disenfranchising large numbers of voters.

A Berks County woman was among the last witnesses to testify for the plaintiffs on Tuesday. Patricia Norton, 73, said she gave up trying to get a free photo ID prior to last year's presidential election because of her chronic back pain and the red tape she encountered at a PennDOT office.

The law has yet to be enforced by court order, pending the constitutional challenge.

Lawyers for the state said it's done everything possible to make IDs widely available, including the creation of a Department of State ID that registered voters without other ID can get for free.

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