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Pennsylvania voter ID law ruled unconstitutional

By Arturo Garcia
Friday, January 17, 2014 19:30 EDT
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'Voters At Polling Station In 2012 Presidential Election' [Shutterstock] http://tinyurl.com/nte35gm
 
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A Pennsylvania judge struck down the state’s heavily-criticized law requiring voters to have a separate identification for use at the polls, the New York Times reported on Friday.

“Voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election,” Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard L. McGinley wrote. “The Voter ID law does not further this goal.”

In August 2013, McGinley blocked the law from being enforced before the state’s general elections that november, the third time the law was delayed since being passed in March 2012 by the Republican-dominated state legislature. A month earlier, the head of the state GOP credited the law with helping cut President Barack Obama’s margin of victory in 2012 to five points over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

“This court holds that the photo ID provisions in the Voter ID Law violate the fundamental right to vote and unnecessarily burden the hundreds of thousands of electors who lack compliant photo ID,” McGinley wrote in his 103-page decision. (PDF)

James D. Schultz, who serves as general counsel for Gov. Tom Corbett (R), told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Corbett has not decided whether the state will appeal the ruling.

But 94-year-old Viviette Applewhite, the plantiff in the case, predicted to the Inquirer that the matter was likely not over.

“I’m tired of going up there to Harrisburg,” she said of going to Commonwealth Court. “But I’m going to go with it until it’s all over with.”

[Image: "Voters At Polling Station In 2012 Presidential Election, Ventura County, California" by spirit of america via Shutterstock]

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
 
 
 
 
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