Pennsylvania Judge in ID Case Says "Show Me the Data"

by - May 02, 2013

As we saw again and again last year, the absence of data about the impact of voter ID requirements - specifically, the number of people who would be eligible to vote but for the lack of required ID - has been an important factor in the attempt to assess such requirements. The resulting factual vacuum has opened the door to now-familiar rhetorical warfare over whether ID requirements prevent fraud, create disenfranchisement or both. (Or neither.) I'll admit to being somewhat surprised that the evidence the judge has requested hasn't already been presented, given the importance of the underlying question. Hopefully, the data will shed at least a little light on the impact of the proposed ID law. There's no guarantee it will, however; as we've already seen in other courts, once a match is complete the arguments invariably begin about the significance of the results. Moreover, there's no guarantee that the state (which is responsible for maintaining the voting rolls) will be able to produce the requested data: a spokesperson for the state said it will "do its best to comply" with the requirement to deliver the data by next Tuesday.

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