Expert says population without IDs overstated

| Thursday, July 25, 2013, 9:09 p.m.

HARRISBURG — A statistician hired by the state has criticized the methodology of another expert who claims that hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania voters lack the photo identification they would need to cast ballots under a pending law.

William Wecker testified on Thursday about his review of Philadelphia statistician Bernard Siskin's report during a Commonwealth Court trial of a lawsuit seeking to overturn the photo ID law on constitutional grounds.

Wecker said Siskin overstated the number of voters without IDs by failing to subtract those who have died, moved out of state or are barred from voting because they are incarcerated felons.

“He's not ascertained that they're even alive,” he said.

Wecker, who is based in Wyoming, claimed Siskin's report also did not adequately reflect voters who have acceptable IDs from non-government sources such as the armed forces, universities or assisted living centers.

On cross-examination, a lawyer for the plaintiffs countered Wecker's review by focusing on weaknesses in his own approach to assessing the influence of those voters.

Washington lawyer Michael Rubin said outside the courtroom that Wecker showed only “a tiny sliver” of voters identified in Siskin's report who may have other valid ID.

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