Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett
A judge in Pennsylvania has struck down
the state's voter identification law. The strict ID requirements were passed and signed into law by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in March 2012.
According to the ruling from Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley, the requirement to present an acceptable form of identification when voting in person "unreasonably burdens the right to vote." [...]
In his ruling, Judge McGinley wrote that the law poses "a substantial threat" to hundreds of thousands of qualified voters.
"Voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election; the Voter ID Law does not further this goal," the decision reads.
In his ruling
[pdf], McGinley noted that the law didn't have authority to issue IDs that were easier to obtain, and that the law was unconstitutional on its face because without the unauthorized "easier ID," it's too burdensome on the "hundreds of thousands" of voters affected, particularly students and the elderly. The judge also noted that the Department of Transportation offices where IDs are issued aren't accessible enough and staff doesn't have enough training to assist people. Among his other findings: there is no compelling interest behind the law because in-person voter fraud isn't a problem; the ID's expiration date is unnecessary given the purpose of the law; and the law provided no safety net for voters as other states have provided.
Corbett is up for reelection this year, posing an interesting dilemma for him. Does he scrap the voter ID program that the court has just struck down, or try to answer the issues raised by the court and change the rules again, a move that could cause chaos again at Pennsylvania's polls.