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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-20-13

PA Voter ID Law Blocked By Federal Judge

A 2012 Pennsylvania law that requires voters to show photo ID in order to vote has once again been blocked from being enforced during an upcoming election by a state judge on Friday.

Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley has barred the law from going into effect until a trial determines a final decision regarding the law's validity. According to McGinley's injunction, poll workers may ask to see a voter's photo ID if they have it available and distribute information about the law. However, McGinley ruled that poll workers cannot tell voters that they may be required to show IDs in the future. "There is no value in inaccurate information, and the court does not deem inaccurate information 'educational,'" McGinley wrote in his decision. "It is not a matter of confusion - it is a matter of accuracy." The injunction will be in effect for the state's special November 5 State House election.

This is the third time Pennsylvania's voter ID law has been blocked. In October 2012, a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court determined the state could not adequately provide free voter IDs as required by the law and therefore it could not go into effect before the November 2 presidential election after the state Supreme Court referred the case back to the lower court to determine its ability to comply.

Despite repeated judicial scrutiny, many other states have passed their own voter ID requirements. Most recently, North Carolina passed a law that requires voters to show photo id at the polls before being allowed to vote.

Media Resources: Associated Press 8/16/2013; New York Times 8/16/2013; Feminist Newswire 8/13/2013, 10/2/2012, 9/19/2012


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

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