Pennsylvania's voter ID law has reached the Commonwealth Court, and Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele - the chief official in charge of implementing the law - under questioning admitted that she doesn't know what the law says.
Despite this, Aichele stuck by her stalwart defense of the law, re-affirming her claim that 99% of voters have the necessary ID and that the free voter ID will be easy to obtain for voters who need it. When confronted with the testimony of a Department of State official claiming the 99% figure was inaccurate, Aichele disagreed. Investigations by independent organizations and the state's Department of Transportation estimate the number much lower, at between 87% and 91%, meaning that up to 1 million voters could be stripped of their right to vote by this law.
Other testimonies called into question the ease at which this ID could be obtained, citing the lack of capability among Department of Transportation offices, misinformation among clerks who are supposed to be distributing the free ID, and that getting free ID requires documents that many voters don't have or can't afford to get - like a certified copy of their birth certificate.
Pennsylvania is just one of nearly a dozen states that have passed photo ID laws. These laws have widely been justified as a necessary measure to address voter fraud. However, the state has agreed that it will not argue that there is any evidence of voter impersonation fraud in Pennsylvania, nor that it can likely be expected to occur in the 2012 election.