A Commonwealth Court judge has again delayed the implementation of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, and ordered that the state may not require poll workers to verbally inform voters about future ID requirements.
The order – which blocks the law in a third consecutive election – comes after a nearly two week-long trial over the constitutionality of the statute, which would require voters to show a valid form of photo ID in order to vote.
Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley, who presided over the trial, extended the preliminary injunction granted before the November 2012 election, but modified it to bar the state from requiring election workers from telling voters that they would need ID in future elections.
“Yet, the Court cannot (in good conscience) ignore the fact that the information conveyed to electors, if relayed at all, at the last two regularly scheduled elections, was inaccurate,” wrote McGinley. “Through two preliminary injunctions, and three ‘soft rollouts,’ poll workers were to inform qualified electors that they would not be able to vote at the next election unless they had a compliant photo ID. Each time, this statement, although well intentioned and hoped to be correct when made, turned out to be wrong.”
The statute, passed last summer without any Democratic support, has yet to be enforced. In the 2012 general election, the state Supreme Court ruled that the law not be enforced after concerns about disenfranchisement. Earlier this year, Pennsylvania agreed not to enforce the law in the May primaries, pending the outcome of the trial.
Citing the fact that it was unclear how long the legal battle would last, McGinley extended the preliminary injunction indefinitely, instead of taking it on an election-by-election basis.Comments powered by Disqus
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