The ruling from Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson doesn't preclude the law from being implemented at a later date next year. The state Supreme Court ordered Simpson to discern whether the state had done enough to provide "liberal access" to photo IDs before Election Day and to issue an injunction if he found that any eligible Pennsylvania voter was being prevented from voting, intentionally or otherwise.
Since it became law six months ago, Pennsylvania's voter-ID requirement, passed by the Republican-led Legislature, has caused a furor nationwide. Democratic activists and voting-rights groups have said that it disenfranchises the elderly, minorities, the poor, urbanites, and other groups that tend to vote for Democrats; GOP proponents have said that it is simply a guard against fraud. The commonwealth of Pennsylvania had stipulated before the proceedings that there had been no instances of in-person fraud.
The stakes were particularly high in an election year with the presidential candidates competing forPennsylvania's 20 electoral votes.