The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is not required to enforce voter identification laws at this November's general election but the state will be permitted to implement the controversial law next year, a judge ruled on Tuesday.
Exactly five weeks prior to Election Day, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson based his decision on two days of testimony, The Associated Press reports. The ruling also arrived after the State of Pennsylvania attempted to ease the process of acquiring an identification card that enables voters to cast ballots.
Simpson heard about driver's license centers with long queues and misinformed clerks as well as identification requirements that make the process more difficult for some registered voters to acquire a photo identification card issued by the state.
Bloomberg reports the law could cause confusion at the polls on November 6, when the nation decides between re-electing Democratic President Barack Obama for a second term or replacing him with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts.
Poll workers still may request voters to present identification cards, Bloomberg reports.
But voters who do not have an identification card may still cast ballots, which will be counted in the election.
"While we're happy that voters in Pennsylvania will not be turned away if they do not have an ID, we are concerned that the ruling will allow election workers to ask for ID at the polls and this could cause confusion," states an email to Bloomberg authored by co-director Penda D. Hair with advocacy group The Advancement Project. "This injunction serves as a mere Band-Aid for the law's inherent problems, not an effective remedy."
Advocates of the voter ID law argue it helps stave off threats to the integrity of general elections while opponents believe it has the potential to disenfranchise legitimate voters who do not have the necessary identification card.