Voter ID law heads back to court
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court promised an expedited hearing for the law so it can be decided in time for the election
September 18, 2012, 7:59 pm·
Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled 4-2 to send the Voter ID law back to the lower court for additional hearings.
“We are not satisfied with a mere predictive judgment based primarily on the assurances of government officials, even though we have no doubt they are proceeding in good faith,” read the official decision.
The additional hearings are meant to determine how the state will implement the law to guarantee that all voters will have access to approved voter identification. Approved photo IDs include U.S. passports, Pennsylvania drivers’ licenses and student ID cards issued by an accredited Pennsylvania college or university. All valid IDs must have an expiration date.
The court promised an expedited hearing for the law with the interest of deciding in time for the election. If the court upholds the law, it will be in effect for the November election.
The Pennsylvania Department of State initially estimated that there are 758,000 voters in the state without valid ID.
Political science professor Rogers Smith explained that security is also a concern with the IDs. “The mode of implementation risks people who have state IDs being used for other purposes in ways like boarding planes that could endanger security,” he said.
He added, “It’s not very likely that they will be reassured in the time between now and the election.”