Patt Morrison for August 15, 2012

Judge upholds PA voter-ID law Democrats say will disenfranchise poor urban voters

Pennsylvania Voters Take Part In The State's GOP Primary

Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

Voters show identification as they sign in to vote during the Republican primary election April 24, 2012 at Bodine High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A Pennsylvania judge has rejected claims that the state’s controversial voter-ID law disenfranchises poor, urban voters. As a result, the state’s 8.2 million registered voters will be required to present a state-approved voter ID when they head to the polls on November 6. Groups including the ACLU and the League of Women Voters sought a preliminary injunction to block the law, which they say violates the state constitution guaranteeing the right to vote and could keep up to a million registered voters who lack necessary ID from the polls. The ruling makes Pennsylvania the 30th state to enforce voter ID laws, up from 24 states in the last election. Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department is continuing its review of the law and whether it violates the U.S. Voting Rights Act. The case is most likely headed to the Supreme Court.


Richard Hasen, professor specializing in election law, UC Irvine; he’s also author of the forthcoming book "The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown"

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