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ADL Files Amicus Brief on Voter ID Law

September 6, 2012
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The Anti-Defamation League filed an amicus “friend of the court” brief in the case challenging Pennsylvania’s voter ID requirements that will be heard this month by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Last month, a lower court upheld the state’s controversial measure requiring voters to present a valid photo identification at the polls in order to cast a ballot. But the Supreme Court has taken the case and oral arguments are expected to begin on Sept. 13 in Philadelphia.

Critics contend the law will disenfranchise seniors and minority voters and was passed in order to help the GOP carry the state. Proponents have argued it will cut back on voter fraud.

“The Pennsylvania Voter ID Law is ill-conceived, misguided and should be reversed by the Supreme Court. Rather than protecting the right to vote, the new Voter ID Law will restrict citizens’ right to vote,” said Nancy Baron-Baer, ADL’s associate regional director.

The amicus brief was prepared by pro bono counsel, Dechert LLP, and the ADL. Joining the ADL on the brief were two Hispanic community groups.

Though the ADL is best known for its work on anti-Semitism, the group has been involved in voting rights advocacy for decades, according to ADL officials.

While the ADL is challenging the law on one front, it is also part of the Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition, a group of more than 100 regional and civic groups that are working in a non-partisan manner to educate voters about the new requirements and help to ensure that scores of voters aren’t turned away at the polls.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is also part of the coalition. The agency has helped organize a seminar on the voter ID law scheduled for Sept. 7 at the Klein JCC in Northeast Philadelphia.

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