Mason Learns

Pennsylvania Judge Blocks Controversial Voter ID Law

Photo by| Rick Smith

A Pennsylvania court judge has ruled that a provision of the controversial new state law, requiring a photo ID to vote cannot be enforced until after November’s general election.

Judge Robert Simpson expressed concern that many will not be able to obtain photo identification before the election, depriving them of their constitutional right to vote. His ruling does allow for other facets of the law to be enacted preceding the presidential election. This includes allowing for the continuance of Pennsylvania’s campaign to inform the electorate of the need for a photo ID to vote; and giving election officials permission to ask voters for a photo ID, although they cannot be turned away if they do not comply.

Four other states have implemented photo ID laws in an effort to limit voter fraud. Although, there has been much opposition to such regulation, as it creates a grave disadvantage for minorities, students, elderly, the poor, and the disabled who have the highest probability of not having a photo ID. There has also been much speculation that Republicans are pushing for such laws, as these are groups that tend to vote democratic.

In June, Republican Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai stated that this law “would allow Governor Romney to win Pennsylvania,” while listing his parties accomplishments, revealing his genuine intention for the law to make political gains, rather than the stated desire to eliminate voter fraud. Pennsylvania is a state the Romney campaign is working to win on November 6.

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