January 17, 2014
A Pennsylvania judge on Friday struck down the state’s voter ID law, which was signed in early 2012 and is one of the strictest in the nation, ruling that the statute “unreasonably burdens the right to vote.”
“Voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election; the Voter ID Law does not further this goal,” Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley wrote.
Pennsylvania’s law requires all voters to bring to the polls identification issued by the state government or the U.S. government, or another valid credential such as a student ID, in order to cast their vote. If a would-be voter does not have an appropriate ID, he can cast a provisional ballot and the vote will be counted if he brings an adequate ID to the local elections office within six days.
The state’s Republican-led legislature passed the law in spring 2012, saying it would help prevent voter fraud, and GOP Gov. Tom Corbett signed it shortly thereafter. Pennsylvania’s law was part of a flurry of stricter voter ID legislation passed across the country by GOP-led legislatures in recent years.
A coalition of groups, including the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Advancement Project, filed a challenge to the law that summer, saying it would disproportionately affect groups such as low-income voters, young voters and minorities.
These requirements really don’t seem that stringent. Simply getting a valid state ID is not at all difficult. If someone isn’t with it enough to have an ID, we’re guessing that he isn’t going to be very well-informed about pressing political issues.