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Pa. Voter ID Law On Hold Until After Presidential Election

Judge Robert Simpson ruled Tuesday that implementation of Pennsylvania's new Voter ID law be put on hold until after the Nov. 6 general election.

A judge ruled today that Pennsylvania's tough new Voter ID Law should be put on hold until after the Nov. 6 general election, according to an Associated Press report.

The ruling can be appealed to the state Supreme Court, which said it would expedite any further action in the case since Election Day is just five weeks away.

Do you agree with the ruling? Tell us in the comments section below.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson heard two days of testimony last week, as directed by the Supreme Court, to determine whether the state has made it easy enough to get a photo ID in order to vote.

Opponents say the law, and the process to get an ID, disenfranchises voters. Supporters say the law will prevent voter fraud - but that justification sparked controversy when GOP state Rep. Mike Turzai said the law will allow Gov. Mitt Romney to win Pennsylvania.

Some political analysts called the voter fraud prevention argument "a sham."

Simpson based his decision on guidelines given to him days ago by the high court justices. He ordered the state not to enforce the photo ID requirement in this year's presidential election but will allow it to go into full effect next year.

One lawyer for the plaintiffs said it appeared to be a "win." Election workers will still be allowed to ask voters for a valid photo ID, but people without it can vote on a regular voting machine in the polling place and would not have to cast a provisional ballot or prove their identity to election officials after the election, according to this Huffington Post report.

A wave of new voter identification requirements has been approved in the past couple years, primarily by Republican-controlled Legislatures.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana's voter ID law in 2008
  • Georgia's top court upheld that state's voter ID law
  • A federal court panel struck down Texas' voter ID law
  • The state court in Wisconsin has blocked its voter ID laws for now.
  • The Justice Department cleared New Hampshire's voter ID law earlier this year
  • A federal court is reviewing South Carolina's law

In Pennsylvania, the plaintiffs – a group of registered voters including a 90-year-old Doylestown woman, plus the Homeless Advocacy Project, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – sought to block the law from taking effect in this year's election as part of a wider challenge to its constitutionality.

The constitutionality of the law was not a question before Simpson.

Rather, the state Supreme Court ordered Simpson to stop the law if he thought anyone eligible would be unable to cast a ballot because of it or if he found the state had not complied with law's promise of providing liberal access to a photo ID that voters were required to show on Election Day.

Tuesday, Oct. 9, is the last day for Pennsylvanians to register to vote in the general election.

Simpson, of Nazareth, is a former Northampton County judge.

Phillyjazz October 03, 2012 at 03:22 PM
AGAIN (and for the last time !!!) This is NOT about ID.. This about the RUSH to force ID in a timeframe which will benefit NO ONE but the Republican party !!! This is about basic DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES and the RIGHT OF EACH CITIZEN TO VOTE. There is INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE to prove that IN PERSON voter fraud is a problem. The PA COURT has decided that there is insufficient time and inadequate infrastructure to support a SIZEABLE and STATISTICALLY VALID number of Pennsylvanians in time to vote on November 6th. I am now done with this thread. If you cannot read the above sentences and understand them, I do not wish to waste my time teaching simple English. Have a nice day !
Mike Shortall Sr October 03, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Of course we're the "ignorant ones", Jazzy, as if you were the only one who ever had to help an elderly family member get official documents. I went though the same process for my mother several years ago, when air travel began to require PHOTO ID - like so many other things we do these days in a civilized world. Only it took me just a few hours to get my mother's situation addressed, but then again I was smart enough to do my homework before dragging grandmom out to PENNDOT!. The facts are these ... This law has been the non-stop subject of newspaper columns, media reports, blog posts, on-line political discussions, etc., etc., etc. since MARCH! SInce MARCH only 12,000 people (out of the purportedly 750,000 - 1 million so-called "potentially disenfranchised") bothered to see the process out to its successful conclusion. This indicates one of two things, neither of which are problems with the system: a) Voters have not been listening or caring about what was needed under the law, or b) These eligible voters couldn't be bothered with meeting a very reasonable documentation requirement that's used every day by MILLIONS of people to complete a myriad of daily life activities. People opposed to this law made it sound like they were being asked to fly to Jupiter! 12,000 out of a potential 750,000 = voter disinterest and laziness, plain and simple.
P2YA October 03, 2012 at 04:11 PM
I couldn't agree more. A voter ID law in principle has some merit, but this iteration was a rush job voted in strictly based on party for a stated goal of potentially "engineering" the upcoming presidential election. It essence it was designed to do exactly what it was supposed to prevent in "qualifying" voters. I am no authority on the law, but it seems to me just the expiration date requirement is a problem for some voters such as the elderly that may have had a PA photo driver's license, but it's expired because they no longer drive. There also are other photo ID's like Bucks' new Veteran ID card. Has a photo but no expiration date. Why can't it be accepted? Sorry, this law was too narrow and not well-thought-out from the get-go, and was right to be enjoined by the Judge. Take the time, get it right and then there will be no problem with it.
Curmudgeon October 03, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Glad to see you go Phillyjazz. No big loss!!!
SS October 03, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Most of you are ridiculous. It's not even a debate on these pages anymore. It's nothing more than a bunch of name calling mud slingers. Most of you are doing exactly what you complain about our government doing. It's quite pathetic.
Mike Shortall Sr October 03, 2012 at 05:39 PM
That makes a lot of sense. </sarcasm> What if Romney LOST Pennsylvania and still won? Are you saying if he won even ONE of the THIRTY states with voter ID laws, the elction would be tainted?!? Please ...
Welcome to Kenya, the 51st State October 03, 2012 at 05:55 PM
All I know is that if you give enough free stuff to enough lazy losers, you become President
Mohandus Frieri October 04, 2012 at 10:09 AM
More right-wing madness. If you want to watch porn, you have to produce ID.
Mohandus Frieri October 04, 2012 at 10:13 AM
Greg Miscavage doesn't know where the hell Obama's from. Where are you from Greg?
Mohandus Frieri October 04, 2012 at 10:17 AM
The emergent crisis of voter fraud. Frantic and frenzied efforts by Republicans to make sure negros, latinos, asians, elderly and poor don't vote. Hurry up! Shove the law down our throats. We have to get it done now. Why? Oh, snap. Because Mike Turzai might not get re-elected.
Mohandus Frieri October 04, 2012 at 10:19 AM
I've got a 55 gallon drum of Preparation H for you John McTheif the Third.
Mohandus Frieri October 04, 2012 at 10:22 AM
Yes, but despite going 233 years of not requiring Voter ID, we must make frantic and frenzied efforts to require it just before THIS election. You sound cute though, Michele. What are you doing Election Night?
Mohandus Frieri October 04, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Shorty, I hear we don't have to show Voter ID after all. I myself am driving busloads of negros, latinos, asians, elderly, poor, and illegals to polling places and have them vote illegally, especially in heavily Republican areas so we can fix the election. What do you think of that, Shorty?
Mohandus Frieri October 04, 2012 at 10:28 AM
I hear Phillyjazz has an MBA. No economic lessons here folks! PHILLY JAZZ HAS AN MBA! Phillyjazz is economically sufficient. He has an MBA(douchebag).
Mohandus Frieri October 04, 2012 at 10:30 AM
@Kenya. The 55 gallon drum of Preparation H is available to you. Paid for by the Kenyan government.
Welcome to Kenya, the 51st State October 04, 2012 at 12:46 PM
We're going to need it if the Muslim gets re-elected. After he gets done with everyone who works for a living, that;s all we're gonna have left. god bless america, land of the free beer, cars and smokes!
Country1st October 04, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Isn't it funny that the GOP pit bulls who said such lies don't put their names on their posts. Coward.
Country1st October 04, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Let us all know who you are. Put it on a bumper sticker, your front door -- "I don't know anything about Romney, I just hate Obama." "I love to hate."
Rosemary B October 04, 2012 at 01:54 PM
To read this page one would think that it is only Democrats who are required to show ID at the polls!
Walter October 04, 2012 at 02:05 PM
And they are all old, sick, disabled and live in the boonies.
Joe The Nerd Ferraro October 04, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Rosemary - I would like to do some research of Romney's 2009 Tax returns - can you help me with that. (I am looking to see if he took part in a tax amnesty program for tax cheats.)
Joey October 04, 2012 at 04:09 PM
My good ole' Grandfather was a hard working man who came up through the ranks in his industry and was for the common man, he always voted Republican in those day and until h passed away. Now he votes Democratic!
Rosemary B October 04, 2012 at 09:39 PM
No one hates Obama. But his policies are another story....We are certainly not better off now then we were 4 yrs ago. And he has broken so many promises! Where is the transparency in government that he promised? Did he cut the deficit in half? Are Helthcare insurance premiums lower because of his policies? NO! They are higher. He has not done the job and now must go.
Adam Fifth October 05, 2012 at 07:48 AM
So can my dead Uncle Harry, who seems to always vote Democratic!
Country1st October 05, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Are you referring to the GOP voter fraud activities that are occurring in FL and other states?
careless fills October 05, 2012 at 05:10 PM
sounds like the type of fraud that could be countered bt a voter id law when these voters show up
Nancy October 07, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Yes we need ID for all most everything, but He did the right thing by makiing them wait. It is so much Identity Theft out there, because half of the time people do not even look at the ID. How many people in the Gov. show ID for anything, so the law would not have been for the Gov., are anyone that can sign to make a change in the law.
Cher October 07, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Rosemary, the point is that yes, of course Dems and Reps alike go to the polls, but the voter ID law is more likely to prevent Dems from getting there, as many of Obama's supporters are older, poorer, minorities, college kids, and urban and would find it more difficult to get to the polls or get to wherever you need to go to get ID. But I'll bet you knew that, as it has been in the news, on message boards, blogs, etc.
Feodor Tiorlenko October 08, 2012 at 01:20 AM
All aboard the minority express. We're getting ready to jam the voting polls with voters whose names we'll scribble on the voting registration lists when we arrive there. The "D" button has never looked so big. We've got negroes, mulattos, quadroons, Hispanics, Asians, elderly, poor and mentally ill all ready to make Barack Hussein Obama a two-term president. We'll make people who already had baby have abortions or alternatively make them socialist Islamists.We'll start a web dating site for extreme right-wing women. They'll make racially charged right-wing statements about big-eared light-skinned black presidential candidates which will cause us to be immediately attracted to them. Yes, we want you!
Bob Tigue October 17, 2012 at 12:52 AM
If our military personnel can lose their life,limbs and blood for our freedom, then every person who votes can prove who they say they are with a valid I.D. If one values freedom they will not object. Voting is a right . Proving who you are is a obligation.

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