Election Law

Judge Won't Block Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law


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A judge in Pennsylvania ruled Wednesday in favor of a controversial state law requiring voters to produce photo identification at the polls.

After a week-long hearing, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson ruled against an injunction request that would have prevented the law from going into effect for the upcoming Nov. 6 general election, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

In his 70-page memorandum opinion (PDF), Simpson wrote that those challenging the law “did not establish … that disenfranchisement was immediate or inevitable.”

“I am not convinced any of the individual petitioners or other witnesses will not have their votes counted in the general election,” Simpson opined.

As for voters unable to travel to obtain photo IDs, the judge said he believed those voters would qualify for absentee voting. Others could vote with provisional ballots, the Post-Gazette reports.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is expected to appeal the ruling to the state supreme court, which the Post-Gazette notes is evenly split between three Democrats and three Republicans because of the suspension of Justice Joan Orie Melvin.

Also see:

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyers Debate Whether New Voter Registration Laws Fight Voter Fraud or Suppress Voter Activity”

Election Law Blog: “Breaking News: Thoughts on the Pennsylvania Voter ID Decision”

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