IDville Blog | Top court in Pennsylvania returns voter ID case to lower court

Top court in Pennsylvania returns voter ID case to lower court

by Admin 19. September 2012 11:50

Pennsylvania's voter ID law might not survive until the November election, according to a ruling handed down by the state's top court.

The Associated Press reports the highest court advised a lower bench to intervene and prevent a newly enacted photo identification law from being enforced in November should the judge determine that eligible voters are unable to acquire identification cards.

That judge also may step in if voters have the potential to be disenfranchised from voting, according to the ruling issued on Tuesday. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania voted 4-2 to return the case to the Commonwealth Court, where a judge last month issued an initial ruling that approved the voter ID law.

But if the judge determines that voters will not be disenfranchised and identification badges are easy to acquire, that law may remain in place, according to the ruling issued by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Lead attorney David Gersch with the side challenging the law said the Supreme Court established a more stringent standard as compared to what the Commonwealth Court judge employed when he declined the request issued by the plaintiffs.

"It's certainly a very positive step in the right direction in that the court recognizes that the state does not make adequate provision for people to get the ID that they would need to vote," Gersch told the wire service. "In addition, there is a practical problem with getting the ID to people in the short time available."

The official Pennsylvania office that oversees statewide voting and elections also agreed to comply.

"We believe, as we have all along, that any legal voter who wants to get an ID is able to do so," State Department spokesman Ron Ruman told the news service.

Reuters reports the Republican-led legislature passed the law in March.

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