A Republican judge changes his mind, because he has to.
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson, Jr. finally got the message. Six weeks after he issued an atrocious ruling upholding his state's new voter identification law, and just a few weeks after the state supreme court told him to go back and try again, the trial judge came up with a sensible decision Tuesday that will greatly reduce the risk this election season of disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of registered Pennsylvania voters who don't drive and who haven't otherwise ever needed a state-issued photo ID.
These people, these poor and elderly people, these minorities and students, these ill and infirm residents, no longer have to travel to state offices, and wait in long lines, to procure new photo identification cards so that their votes will count this election year. Instead, they can offer election officials at polling places what they have been able and willing to offer in years past -- other forms of identification, good and valid forms of identification, which prove that they are who they say they are.
MORE ON THE PENNSYLVANIA VOTER ID LAW
Judge Simpson's injunction precludes election officials from requiring registered voters to have and to show the new state photo identification card in order to get access to a regular ballot. It acknowledges that voter disenfranchisement was occurring, and would have continued to occur, had the restrictive law been enforced as written this election season; that all the state's horses, and all the state's men, weren't going to be able to get all those registered voters the right identification cards in time for the November contest.