Poll: Radnor Reacts to Voter ID Decision

Will this decision stick? Both sides had said they would appeal this ruling.

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.

justwondering August 16, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Keep selling the idea that the big bad white republicans are holding everyone else down............you do a greater disservice than we could ever do......You continue to try and portray us as elitist and we are far from it. But you keep working that angle, while we just take the White House back in November.....
Skip Shuda August 16, 2012 at 11:46 AM
I'm all for solving problems where they exist, but the Inquirer just ran a piece saying that there really is practically zero voter fraud taking place nationwide (Aug 12, Voter Fraud Virtually Non-Existant). So - this Voter ID legislation was pushed to solve a non-existent problem. I believe that this fact is the "smoking gun" demonstrating that the law has another, more subversive objective. There probably are a lot of people who don't have IDs... they are the real target, even though studies show they generally vote legitimately.
Richard Kline August 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Many blacks born in the south were never issued birth certificates and they generaly vote Democrat. Also voter fraud is very rare in the U.S. This is a way for Republicans to prevent many from voting for Democrats.
Xpect Moor August 16, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Come on Skip... Have you never heard of "Vote Early, Vote Often", or dead people voting, or 20 people using the same address of an abandoned property? I don't believe they are urban legends. I doubt it if we have much of it going on here in Wayne, but I think we'd be fooling ourselves if we think it's not happening in more largely populated areas. If we're concerned about voter suppression, why didn't Holder pursue the voter intimidation at the polls last time in Philly. You and I both know the reason.
Skip Shuda August 16, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Xpect - I've heard the sayings, but never of any specific instances of voter fraud. Yes there is a great deal of voter fraud - in struggling democracies and from autocrats pretending to have "fair elections". But that isn't the USA. In this case, I like the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." A recent study (with statistical significance) validated that it is NOT broken. As for Holder not pursuing voter intimidation - that is a different issue. I know very little about it - but if ANY Americans are being intimidated from voting, then I'm in favor of aggressive intervention to prevent it in the future.


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