NAACP Cautiously Optimistic on Pennsylvania Voter ID Case

(Harrisburg, PA) – NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous addressed reporters outside the Harrisburg, PA courthouse on Tuesday as Judge Robert Simpson heard arguments about the state’s voter photo ID law.

“We are cautiously optimistic that the court will file an injunction against the voter photo ID law,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation said that processing even a small percentage of the voters who need ID would overwhelm their system. In Georgia, voter ID took years to implement. Pennsylvania is a bigger state and will need at least as much time as Georgia did.”

Last week the Pennsylvania Supreme Court instructed Judge Simpson to block the new photo voter ID law unless he determines “that there will be no voter disenfranchisement” from its implementation.

The law, passed by the Pennsylvania legislature and signed by the governor this year, requires voters to present government approved photo ID in order to vote.  Reports show that hundreds of thousands of registered and eligible Pennsylvanian voters do not have an acceptable ID.  Proponents of the law have indicated that the law is intended to prevent voter fraud, but have acknowledged that the voter fraud prevented by the new requirement has not occurred in the state in recent history and is unlikely to occur even without the ID requirement.  Since 2000, only 10 cases of in-person voter fraud have been proven nationally.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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