Chalk one up for voter fraud. Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson ruled today that the voter ID requirements signed into law this past March cannot be enforced until after the general election. His reason? Disenfranchisement of potential voters. The law states that voters must present a valid photo ID in order to cast a ballot. Under Simpson’s ruling, voters can still be asked for identification, but if they cannot comply, they will still be allowed to vote:
“I am not still convinced in my predictive judgment that there will be no voter disenfranchisement arising out of the commonwealth’s implementation of a voter identification requirement for purposes of the upcoming election,” Simpson wrote. “Under these circumstances, I am obliged to enter a preliminary injunction.”
However, Simpson’s ruling allows other provisions of the law to stand, including voter education efforts that a photo ID is required to cast a ballot. Election officials also can ask for a photo ID, but cannot prevent people from voting if they don’t have one.
The judge wrote that state legislators intended for election officials to request a photo ID during the transition period for the new law “even though the vote will be counted regardless of compliance with the request.”
Several people remarked on the the judge strangely sanctioning ballot workers to ignore photo IDs:
It’s worth noting that this is the same Judge Robert Simpson who ruled against an injunction in August. So perhaps his wishy-washy view of the photo ID requirement isn’t so out of character.
Those who subscribe to the Sarah Silverman school of thought and believe large swaths of voters are too incompetent to procure valid photo IDs were ecstatic:
Proponents of accountability were disgusted:
The ruling could still be appealed, though with just over one month left until the general election, time is running out.