A judge’s ruling Tuesday that Pennsylvania’s voter-ID law does not have to be enforced for the Nov. 6 election doesn’t go far enough. The discriminatory law, like poll taxes, literacy tests, and other painful attacks on democracy, should be permanently retired. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr.’s ruling allows anyone eligible to vote to do so on Nov. 6 without showing a photo ID. But poll workers can still demand to see an ID, which leaves the door open for voters to be harassed. Simpson’s ruling was an admission that he was wrong with his prediction in an earlier ruling that no voter would be disenfranchised by the outrageous law, among the strictest in the nation. Since the state could not offer as evidence a single incident of voter impersonation, it’s too bad he didn’t also acknowledge that the law is an affront.
The mass confusion produced by trying to hurriedly enforce a law affecting 8.3 million voters, and which was only signed by Gov. Tom Corbett in March, had many frustrated Pennsylvanians questioning whether they should even try to vote. Democrats complained that the law was targeted at their ranks, which include more of the elderly, disabled, poor, young, and minority voters most likely to lack a driver’s license or other acceptable form of photo ID. That complaint was given weight when House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, a Republican, boasted that voter ID would allow Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to win in Pennsylvania.
The state’s option for non-drivers required applicants to run a bureaucratic gauntlet to get a substitute ID issued by either the state Department of Transportation or the Department of State. But PennDot workers were poorly trained for this massive new responsibility. Not surprisingly, voters had to wait in long lines.
Full Article: Other Views: Voter ID hasn’t been defeated.