Judge Strikes Down Pennsylvania Voter-ID Law

A state judge has ditched the nearly 2-year-old requirement that all Pennsylvanians must show photo identification before they can cast a ballot.

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In a victory for the opponents of Pennsylvania’s voter-ID law, a state judge spiked the requirement that mandated all Pennsylvanians must show photo identification before casting their ballots, the Associated Press reports.

Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard L. McGinley, who is a Democrat, said that the law would place an exorbitant burden on the people’s right to vote, and said that the state had not been able to explain why such a law was necessary in the first place, the AP notes.

"Voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election; the Voter ID Law does not further this goal," McGinley wrote in his ruling.

Democratic leaders in the state saw the law as an attempt by Republicans to disenfranchise seniors, minorities and other groups that tend to vote Democrat. Republicans were insistent that it was a security measure, focused on reducing voter fraud, although the administration admitted they had no examples of such a thing ever taking place.

Still, Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, signed the law—one of the strictest in the U.S., according to the AP—in March 2012, despite protests by Democrats. However its enforcement was put on hold due to court orders, pending a final decision.

Witold J. Walzack, a lawyer representing the American Civil Liberties Union, part of the group that headed the legal challenge, told the AP, "the act was plainly revealed to be nothing more than a voter-suppression tool."

Read more at the Associated Press.

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