Voter ID on Trial

HARRISBURG, Pa. – This morning, Slate put up my first dispatch from the seven-day hearing on whether to block Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law. (The story is about days one through five.) Read it all, obviously, but notice what a lot of the reporters in the room noticed – Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele phoning it in during a few irritating hypothetical questions posed by the plaintiffs’ heavy hitter, David Gersch.

Gersch’s strategy: Rope Aichele into a discussion of minute details of the voter ID regulations until she fell out of her comfort zone. He started with questions about some relaxed ID standards for elderly people in assisted living.

“The law doesn’t restrict issue of these forms of ID,” he said, hinting at a question.

“I’ve not looked at the law specifically,” said Aichele. “It was my understanding that residents of the care facilities were allowed to get these kind of IDs.”

“You believe that the law says …” started Gersch.

“I don’t know what the law says,” said Aichele.

“Well, the law says whatever the law says,” shrugged Gersch.

More going up shortly, right on this here blog.