Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge Robert Simpson yesterday did his part to save the Republican Party. Simpson, a Republican himself, essentially postponed Pennsylvania’s voter ID law until after the 2012 election on the grounds that the state had made scant progress supplying IDs to prospective voters and would likely disenfranchise large numbers if the law wasn’t derailed. According to recent polls, President Barack Obama is leading Republican Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania by 7 to 12 points. Obama appears likely to win the state with or without a voter ID law tamping down the youth and minority vote. That doesn’t mean the state’s election would be without drama. Pennsylvania is on record with an estimate that 758,000 registered voters lack the proper ID. Over the course of 2012, a few more than 10,000 of those voters obtained one. So if the courts had permitted the law to go forward, perhaps three quarters of a million registered Pennsylvania voters would have been unable to vote this November.
The state is also on record about the motivation for the law. Before the voter ID trial began, the state stipulated that there have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; that authorities are unaware of such fraud having been committed elsewhere; and that the state had no evidence that in-person voter fraud was likely to occur in the future. In other words, Republican legislators went through the sturm and drang of adopting a highly-contentious, racially-charged change in voting rights . . . just because. Of course, many Pennsylvanians know that House Republican leader Mike Turzai was videotaped telling fellow Republicans that passage of the voter ID law would “allow Governor Romney to win” the state.
Full Article: Pennsylvania Voter ID Judge Rescues Republicans – Bloomberg.