Voter ID Law (Probably) Won’t Disenfranchise PA Voters in November
October 3, 2012 9:34 am
The second time’s the charm in the Commonwealth Courtroom of Judge Robert Simpson. As advised by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Judge Simpson issued a decision slowing the rollout of Pennsylvania’s controversial voter ID law Tuesday. Voters will be asked for ID, but will still be allowed to vote (and have their vote counted normally) if they don’t possess the required ID.
The ruling comes as a major — if temporary — victory for the law’s critics. The genesis of the law is a complete farce: there has been little to no evidence of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania, and House Republican Mike Turzai went so far as to boldly state that the intent of the law is to, “[d]eliver the state of Pennsylvania for Mitt Romney.”
Groups including the American Civil Liberties Union asked the courts to block the law from taking effect this year. They said some voters wouldn’t be able to get the necessary ID in time to vote. The groups wrote in a brief this month that one voter made two 80-minute round trips to a driver’s license center last week but couldn’t get an ID because she lives with someone else and has no proof of residency.
Supporters of fair polling had much to celebrate yesterday — but the law can still be appealed (again) to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. And it’s not as though the law will be completely wiped from the books — Simpson, who already allowed the law to proceed once, came to the conclusion that voter disenfranchisement was highly possible, so it won’t apply for November’s election. Future elections are still up in the air.
The New York Times reports:
While we’re happy that voters in Pennsylvania will not be turned away if they do not have an ID, we are concerned that the ruling will allow election workers to ask for ID at the polls and this could cause confusion,” said Penda D. Hair, co-director of Advancement Project, one of the groups that challenged the law. “This injunction serves as a mere Band-Aid for the law’s inherent problems, not an effective remedy.”
Image from here