Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Blocked for November (October 3, 2012)

You may recall Wendy's post on the notorious Pennsylvania Voter ID law from it is...

That law was designed to make it more difficult for voters to register, by requiring a photo ID, ostensibly to prevent "voter fraud" but practically speaking a rather transparent attempt to deny voting rights to a large percentage of likely Democratic voters by a Republican-controlled Pennsylvania legislature.  The Republican House Majority Leader in Pennsylvania, Mike Turzai, actually said exactly that: "{This law} is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania."

Not so fast, Mike.

Yesterday a Pennsylvania judge blocked the law.  Essentially he said there was not enough time to implement it for this election, and the state had not done enough to help voters get access to the required documents.  Here is the full story in the New York Times, which also notes that restrictive voter ID laws had been similarly ruled out in Texas and Wisconsin and gives a more or less state-by-state rundown of the status of various other voter ID laws.  The tone of the article is that these rulings represent a series of victories by those seeking to restore full access to the ballot box over those who are using these restrictions to tilt elections toward Republicans.

Obama is 8-10 points ahead in Pennsylvania.  As Wendy noted, the law had the potential to deny voting rights to 9 percent of the potential electorate, which might have seriously threatened that lead.  Now Obama has clear sailing in Pennsylvania, the State Formerly Known as a Swing State.


  1. I hope it's well-publicized in Pennsylvania that this law will not be in effect on Election Day. There are notices all over Pittsburgh - posters, ads on the sides of buses - that you can't vote without proper ID, and it would be unfortunate if eligible voters without ID don't realize that the law has been blocked. I'm hoping to see new signs on the buses in the next few days!

  2. Wow, talk about the Law of Unintended Consequences. I'm rooting for new signs, too! Keep us posted on that!


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