Pennsylvania judge strikes down voter ID law

SATURDAY, JAN. 18, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A Pennsylvania judge has found the state’s voter ID law unconstitutional.

According to the ruling from Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley, the requirement to present an acceptable form of identification when voting in person “unreasonably burdens the right to vote.”

The requirement was challenged in court after Republican legislators passed it and Gov. Tom Corbett signed it into law in March 2012.

A group of state Senate Democrats hailed the ruling as a victory for fair elections and said they hoped the Corbett administration would not fight the decision through appeals.

“They’ve gone beyond where they already should have gone on this in terms of using resources,” said Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills. “They shouldn’t spend another penny on this.”

The costs to defend the law in court as well as the state’s expenditures on posters and ads to explain the law – even when it wasn’t in effect – have been a frequent complaint of Democrats.

In a post on Twitter, Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, said the judge had disregarded U.S. Supreme Court precedent “in throwing out common sense voter ID law supported by a vast majority of Pennsylvanians.”

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law, rejecting claims it was too burdensome.


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