Attorneys for the state stressed in their cross-examinations that each person who sought an ID was eventually able to get one.
The law, called Act 18, was passed in March and requires voters to show an approved photo ID before casting a ballot. The most common form of ID was expected to be the secure ID issued by Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation, but the Department of State announced in July that it would institute a new program to make compliant IDs more readily available to voters who don't have the paperwork including a raised-seal birth certificate to get the secure PennDOT ID. The Department of State ID can only be used for voting and has less stringent requirements.
On the eve of this week's hearing, Monday night, the government changed the application process for the Department of State ID to make it less onerous, answering concerns raised by the state Supreme Court in its per curiam decision on the first appeal of the case issued earlier this month.
Concerns over implementation of the law and the tight timeline before November's election were cited by the state Supreme Court when it remanded the case to Simpson for a new hearing.
"Contrary to the law's liberal access requirement, applicants for a Department of State identification card may be initially vetted through the rigorous application process for a secure PennDOT identification card before being considered for a Department of State card, the latter of which is considered to be only a 'safety net,'" the Supreme Court's order said.