Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

No ID needed Nov. 6

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 by NATE JASTRZEMSKI in Local News

November's election is now officially unconstrained by Pennsylvania's oft-debated voter ID law.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson decided on an injunction Oct. 2, which will allow residents to vote without photo ID, but does not entirely take the law off the table after November.

Simpson was ordered by the State Supreme Court a few weeks ago to better research his initial decision allowing the law. He was told to make certain the law could disenfranchise no voters to be considered constitutional, and he apparently realized it would be physically impossible to make certain the entire population has acceptable ID cards before the election.

President of the Pennsylvania State Education Association Mike Crossey said of the decision in a press release, "There shouldn't be roadblocks erected in front of Pennsylvania's voting booths. Today, the Commonwealth Court tore one down, ensuring that Pennsylvanians can exercise their right to vote on Nov. 6. Today's decision ensures that the rights of Pennsylvanians to cast ballots on Election Day will not be eroded, infringed, or violated. Pennsylvanians should be proud of this decision and the principles that it upholds."

In her own release, Pa. State Sen. Lisa Boscola explained, "While I understand and support efforts to deter voter fraud, the state has demonstrated an inability to ensure individuals have access to the proper ID."

Calling PennDOT and State Department information on the law confusing, Boscola said there was no sense of scale in the task legislators were creating and how many citizens would be affected.

Boscola said, without naming names or parties, she had offered an amendment to delay implementing the law to perform due diligence and frame the legislation properly. "Delaying implementation would have also removed the relentless criticism that the law itself was nothing more than a political tool aimed at rigging this year's presidential election. Waiting a year would have solved all of those issues. The judge's reasoned decision today does just that."