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In a ruling today, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson put the Pennsylvania voter ID debate to rest by ruling that voters in Pennslyvania will not have to show a photo ID to vote, at least for now. NBC News reports,
Simpson’s ruling means that the photo ID requirement won’t be in effect for the Nov. 6 election, but it may be in effect for future elections. His decision did not strike down the entire law; in fact he rejected efforts by those challenging to law to stop state officials from educating voters about the voter ID requirement.
Simpson also said that those challenging the law have conceded that the part of the law which requires proof of identification for absentee voting does not harm would-be voters and may be implemented.
The ruling essentially mandates that a voter’s “provisional ballot” cannot be invalidated because that voter refuses to show identification, but election officials still have the right to ask for an ID. It also leaves open the future of voter ID laws in Pennsylvania, postponing the debate to a non-election year.
This news might come as a disappointment to the majority of Pennsylvania registered voters, who favored voter ID laws in order to prevent alleged voter fraud. Among Republican leaders who might be disappointed is Republican House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, who admitted earlier this year that the Pennsylvania voter ID law “is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”
What’s your opinion on the ruling? Is it fair to postpone the voter ID debate until next election?