What Local Politicians Are Saying About The Voter ID Law
Will this decision stick? Both sides had said they would appeal this ruling.
The Commonwealth Court ruled Wednesday morning not to stop Pennsylvania's controversial new voter identification law from going into effect.
Judge Robert Simpson, of Nazareth, Pa ., will not grant an injunction that would have halted the law requiring each voter to show a valid photo ID.
Opponents are expected to file an appeal within a day or two to the state Supreme Court as the Nov. 6 presidential election fast approaches, according to the Associated Press.
The challenge to the law was brought by voter advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP.
It’s unclear what this decision will actually mean, since both sides had vowed to appeal the judgement if it didn’t go their way.
The NAACP vowed to appeal the ruling. National president Benjamin Todd Jealous issued a statement saying, ""This law, like other state laws enacted across the U.S., has the potential to suppress thousands of votes in the Commonwealth during this election. The NAACP, in conjunction with its state conferences, will continue to combat these efforts on the ground and mobilize voters. We will have to fight for our right to vote again."
State GOP Chairman Rob Gleason issued a statement saying, in part, "I am pleased that the Commonwealth Court recognized this law for what it is – common sense reform to ensure that every voter and every vote is protected."
Locally, in Delaware County, politicians also shared their own feelings about the decision.
Delaware County Republican Party Chairman Andrew Reilly told the Delaware County Daily Times that he didn't believe the ruling would have any affect on voter turn-out rate and the goal is to prevent potential voter fraud.
Reilly told the Times that the fee for the photo identification has been waived and residents will have the opportunity to vote provisionally on Election Day and produce an ID later if need be, according to the Delaware County Daily Times.
Delaware County Democratic Party Chairman David Landau told the Delco Times that the ruling interferes with the right to vote and there has been no case made for voter fraud to support the GOP claims.
Pennsylvania passed a law in March requiring all registered voters to show a valid and “acceptable” photo ID before voting. This is one of the strictest voter ID laws in the nation.
Opponents of the law say it disproportionately targets the elderly as well as the poor and minorities, who typically vote Democrat. Furthermore, critics say that the burden of obtaining an acceptable ID for these people would keep them from voting.
Thirty states have some sort of Voter ID law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, of those, 19 do not require a photo, six require a photo and five, including Pennsylvania, have strict photo requirements.