PA Voter ID Law Upheld
Yesterday morning, a Pennsylvania state judge upheld the controversial voter ID law proposed by Governor Tom Corbett requiring individuals to show valid forms of photo identification at polling places on election day.
The judge, Robert Simpson, upheld the law despite pleas from the plaintiffs, who were aided by the American Civil Liberties Union, claiming voter suppression to the tune of several hundred thousand voters being disenfranchised by the law. Judge Simpson refused to grant injunction, writing; “Petitioners did not establish…that disenfranchisement was immediate or inevitable.” The entire transcript of Judge Simpson’s decision is available at the bottom of this post.
In addition to the elderly and poor voting demographics thought to be most impacted by the bill, many state university students would have been unable to vote with student ID cards, simply because the ID’s do not have an expiration date — an additional requirement to the bill. To address this issue, Penn State added expiration dates on student ID+ cards last April.
All incoming freshman will have expiration dates on their ID+ cards autmoatically, and those who already have ID +cards have the ability to add a sticker with an expiration date.
On August 3rd, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported that all 14 Pennsylvania state university institutions had amended their student’s voter ID cards in accordance with the pending voting law to include expiration dates.
While it’s encouraging that these universities — Penn State included — are taking action on this matter, the challenge still remains in implementing this procedure for those students who already have ID cards. And a greater challenge yet for non-students who are being disenfranchised by this bill.
The bill must now pass through the PA State Supreme Court.
Voter ID Law, Commonwealth Court opinion