Does the injunction that Judge Simpson issued today inadvertently violate the first-time voter identification requirement in the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (“HAVA”)? HAVA, in Section 303(b), requires voters who register by mail and are voting for the first-time to present identification at the polls. Pennsylvania implemented this requirement of HAVA in the law that preexisted the current Photo ID Law. … Because the new requirement in the Photo ID Law that everyone show photo ID at every election made the requirement that first-time voters show ID unnecessary, Act 18 amended this section to do away with the distinction between first-time voters and all other voters. The Act also limited the acceptable forms of identification to photo ID.
… Although Judge Simpson’s Order today reinstated certain sections of the preexisting Election Code (relating to provisional ballots) for the November election, it did not reinstate the preexisting version of Sections 1210(a) or 1210(a.1). In fact, Judge Simpson’s Order explicitly says: “All other provisions of Act 18 remain in effect.” This means that the section of the preexisting Election Code that required first-time voters to show ID no longer exists — it was stricken by Act 18 and Judge Simpson did not reinstate it in his ruling today.