The Commonwealth Court ruled Wednesday morning not to stop Pennsylvania's controversial from going into effect.
Judge Robert Simpson will not grant an injunction that would have halted the law requiring each voter to show a valid photo ID.
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.
"It’s disappointing, mostly for the hundreds of thousands of people who will be disenfranchised," said Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware). Leach said that, historically, the courts have ruled to prevent temporary majorities from limiting others' right to vote.
"I believe the [state] Supreme Court—or I’m hopeful it will—will take up its traditional role and not disenfranchise voters for partisan reasons," he added.
“We are disappointed that the Pennsylvania court has upheld this voter suppression law. Recently, when similar laws in other states have been reviewed by a court or the U.S. Department of Justice they have been deemed to be discriminatory, and we believe this to be the case in Pennsylvania,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, President of the League of Women Voters of the United States.
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 – commonsense reform to ensure that every voter and every vote is protected."
Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman Jim Burn said, "Pennsylvania Democrats are committed to protecting Pennsylvanians' right to vote, and we will continue to educate voters about the new ID requirements and the process to acquire an appropriate ID to ensure that all eligible voters can get to the polls and exercise their right to vote in November."
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."
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.