Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law Won't Go into Effect for This Year's Election

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Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson has postponed Pennsylvania's controversial and restrictive voter identification law and ruled the the measure will not go into full effect until next year. "The decision by Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson on the law requiring each voter to show a valid photo ID could be appealed to the state Supreme Court," reports the AP.  If you recall, the state's Supreme Court ruled on September 18 that it was "not satisfied" that plans to implement the voter identification law by Nov. 6 wouldn't disenfranchise some voters. Some estimate that the law would have affected around 759,000 voters, most of them being the poor and elderly. This year being an election year, combined with the number of voters affected, the types of voters being affected, and Pennsylvania being a swing state—Democrats and voting rights advocates were trying to to keep the law from taking effect, while Republicans have supported the law; one top Republican lawmaker in Pennylvania said in June that the state's voter identification law would help Mitt Romney win the state.

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court kicked the case back down to Simpson to hear testimony about the logistics of obtaining a valid photo ID in time for November's elections—testimony which ended yesterday. Simpson's ruling "could easily be the final word on the law just five weeks before the Nov. 6 election," writes the AP.

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