As Harrisburg prepares for this afternoon's voter-ID opposition rally, here's a look at what U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., had to say about the law and his concerns.
Asked yesterday following his remarks to the monthly Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon, Casey said he's "very worried" about implementing a law that changes voting requirements in a presidential election year.
"Anything we're doing as a state that erects barriers to voting, especially in a year like this, is in need of a lot of scrutiny," he told the gaggle of reporters, adding that it could be "a significant barrier."
"We'll see what the court does [regarding the legal challenges] but I would hope ... that if we're going to have a law like that in place, that it is tested and implemented in a year other than this type of a highly charged political year," he continued.
"When I saw that number that the Department of State put out, over 750,000 Pennsyvlanians who don't have ID, even if that number were cut in half, it would be disturbing."
Asked if he thinks the Commonwealth Court should grant an injunction on the law, he replied: "Oh yes, I hope they would because there are facts on the table now about the number of people who could be affected."
That figure of 758,000 people represents the number of voters who couldn't be matched to a name in the Department of Transportation's database.
Federal identification cards, such as a passport, or IDs from colleges or nursing homes that include an expiration date also can be used, and a new ID card will be available late next month for voters who don't have a birth certificate or Social Security card necessary to acquire current PennDOT photo IDs.
Information on that Department of State figure is part of what federal officials have requested in their review of the law, according to the P-G's Karen Langley:
In a letter dated Monday, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez asked Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele to provide documents including the state's voter registration list and its list of driver's licenses and personal identification cards, with each roster including full names, addresses, dates of birth, identifying numbers and race.
The letter also requests documents supporting a statement in a March press release from the office of Gov. Tom Corbett that 99 percent of the state's eligible voters have acceptable IDs, as well as documents supporting a Department of State estimate earlier this month that approximately 758,000 registered voters lack state-issued photo identification acceptable for voting.