Just thinking about going to the Department of Motor Vehicles induces anxiety and a stomach churn so bad I can’t move. Pennsylvania residents with the same hatred of the never-ending lines and long wait will be happy to know a judge struck down a portion of the state’s voter ID law that requires voters to have a photo identification card in order to cast a ballot.
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley ruled the state’s voter ID law places an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote and does not further the goal of assuring a free and fair election. The decision will likely be appealed, the New York Times reports.
The voter ID law, signed by Gov. Tom Corbett in March 2012, required voters to present a specific identification card before entering the voting booth. The law was barred from being enforced before the 2012 general election.
Friday’s ruling puts an end to two-year old lawsuit filed by the ACLU and NAACP. The suit featured a 93-year-old woman as the lead plaintiff. The woman, a long time voter and political activist, doesn’t have a driver’s license and would be unable to get the proper ID needed to vote because the state has been unable to find her a replacement birth certificate.
This summer, during a 12-day trial, supporters of the law argued a personal identification card was a common sense way to keep people from impersonating someone else at the voting booth, while opponents said the inconvenience of getting proper identification cards would discourage potential voters.
Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down [New York Times]