State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Judge upholds Pennsylvania's controversial voter ID law

Written by Tim Lambert, witf Multimedia News Director | Aug 15, 2012 2:33 PM

(Harrisburg) -- A Commonwealth Court judge has refused to halt Pennsylvania's tough new voter identification law. 

Attorneys challenging the photo identification requirement had asked the court to halt implementation of the law they call politically-motivated immediately.

Opponents have said they will appeal to the state Supreme Court and plan to discuss their next steps this afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

In a statement, Governor Corbett said now that the law has been upheld, the state can continute to focus on, "ensuring that every Pennsylvania citizen who wants to vote has the identification necessary to make sure their vote counts.’’

Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele, whose department oversees elections in Pennsylvania, also issued a statement:

“I am pleased Judge Simpson affirmed the constitutionality of the voter ID law. This law will reinforce the principle of one person, one vote.  By giving us a reliable way to verify the identity of each voter, the voter ID law will enhance confidence in our elections.

“We will continue our outreach efforts to make sure all legal Pennsylvania voters know about the law, and know how to get a free ID to vote if needed.”

The Corbett administration has budgeted $1 million dollars to implement the law, in addition to $5 million in federal funds.

The Democratic Party has protested the measure as an effort to suppress the vote in Pennsylvania, pointing to comments made by Republican House Majority Leader Mike Turzai in June that passing voter ID, will allow Governor Romney to win the state.

The Obama campaign's Pennsylvania office issued a statement in response to today's ruling.

“Regardless of today’s decision, we remain committed to working with supporters and volunteers across the state to register and educate Pennsylvanians about the Voter ID law. We want to ensure all eligible voters have the information they need to get to the polls in November and exercise their right to vote," said campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Austin. "Regardless of party affiliation, we support ensuring any voter eligible to cast a ballot has the right to do so.”  

Bob Kefauver, chairman of the Democratic Party of York County says, "The Commonwealth Court decision handed down this morning to not impose an injunction on the costly, unjust and needless Voter ID law is complete neglect of the rights of one million Pennsylvania voters whose votes may be suppressed this November.

*More details to follow*

 

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