Judge Won't Block Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law

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A Pennsylvania judge decided not to issue an injunction blocking the state's voter identification law from going into effect, the Associated Press' Marc Levy reports. Democrats—and the state House Republican leader—say the law will hurt them in the election, because the people who don't have a valid photo ID tend to be Democrats. Opponents of the law will probably appeal to the state supreme court in a couple days. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson only ruled on whether to issue an injunction, not on the merits of the law. 

The state said it was "not aware of any incidents of in person voter fraud." Nationwide, there have been only 10 cases of alleged in-person voter fraud in the last 12 years, according to an analysis by News21 of 2,068 cases of reported fraud. There tends to be more fraud on absentee ballots and voter registration, the study found.

Republicans say they just want to make sure people are following the law. But Democrats say they're targeting their voters. A study by Azavea found that 1 in 7 Pennsylvania voters don't have valid state ID, and that in Philadelphia, 1 in 3 don't. And those ID-less voters are more likely to be black and Latino. Pennsylvania House Republican leader Mike Turzai conceeded that point in June, when he said, "Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done." The New Republic's Alec MacGillis tweets it will at least make things closer: "Pennsylvania Voter ID ruling a blow to Obama. At very least, forces spending more $$ in a state he won by double-digits in '08."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.