Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

October-02-12

PA Court Blocks Enforcement of Voter ID Laws

On Tuesday, just five weeks before Election Day, a Commonwealth Court judge halted enforcement of Pennsylvania's strict new voting ID law from going into effect in the pivotal swing state until after this year's presidential election. The law, enacted in March, requires that every person have a Department of Transportation (PennDOT) photo ID in order to vote in Pennsylvania. However, under the law, the state of Pennsylvania is supposed to provide alternative voter ID cards free of charge. In September, the State's Supreme Court returned the case to the lower Commonwealth Court to assess the extent that approved voter ID's are readily available to eligible voters.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson ordered the state not to enforce the law for the November 6 election, stating "the proposed changes are to occur about five weeks before the general election, and I question whether sufficient time now remains to attain the goal of liberal access" to ID cards. The higher court ordered Simpson to block the law if eligible voters would be kept from voting as a result of it, or if he found that the state could not comply with its commitment to provide valid photo IDs to eligible voters within the time available before election day- he did not question the constitutionality of the law. Simpson's decision will allow the law to go into effect in the future. An appeal of the decision is still possible.

Although the future of the law remains contested, the judge's decision to block the law for the November 6 election is a win for Democrats, who have been fighting Republican-passed voter ID laws in many states this year. According to the Associated Press, "Pennsylvania's new law, among the toughest in the nation, is a signature accomplishment of Republicans in control of Pennsylvania state government who say they fear election fraud. But it is an emotional target for Democrats who call it a Jim Crow-style scheme to make it harder for their party's traditional voters, including young adults and minorities, who might not carry the right kind of ID or know about the law."

A study released in September by the Black Youth Project indicated that one million young minority voters were at risk of being affected by new voter suppression laws enacted in 17 states for the November 6 election.

Media Resources: NBC Politics 10/2/12; Huffington Post 10/2/12; MSNBC 10/2/12; NPR 10/2/12


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/21/2014 Afghanistan's New First Lady Advances Women's Issues - Just a few days after moving to the presidential palace, Afghanistan's new First Lady Rula Ghani said that she hopes to encourage greater respect for women. Rula Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President. . . .
 
10/21/2014 Hulu Silences Rape Survivor Speaking Out Against Anti-Abortion Amendment 67 in Colorado - Hulu, an online, ad-supported streaming service, has refused to run an advertisement from the "No on 67" campaign in Colorado, citing the company's policy regarding "controversial" political positions on issues like abortion. In a letter to the CEO of Hulu, dated October 10, the Vote No on 67 Campaign, which is supported by the Feminist Majority Foundation, asked the company to reconsider its unwillingness to air a 35-second spot featuring a rape survivor's testimony about the far-reaching impact of Colorado's proposed Amendment 67. . . .
 
10/21/2014 Obama Administration Issues New Rule to Strengthen Response to Campus Sexual Violence - The Obama Administration announced a new rule last week to more effectively address sexual violence on college campuses by increasing transparency around campus disciplinary proceedings involving sexual violence and establishing rights for survivors within those proceedings. The new rule, announced by the Department of Education, implements changes to the Clery Act, which requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid in the United States to publicly report crime information. . . .