The state judge listening to a new round of arguments on the state’s voter identification law concluded the day-long session by directing attorneys to come prepared Thursday to argue what they think a potential injunction should look like. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson said it’s his responsibility to consider the possibility of halting the new law — which requires all voters present a photo ID card with an expiration date in order to cast a ballot — and how to tailor such an action so that it addresses why the law isn’t being properly implemented. “I think it’s possible there could be an injunction entered here,” he said. “I need some input from people who have been thinking about this longer than I have.”
Judge Simpson’s remark followed a day of lengthy testimony presented by a group of challengers to the law. Much of the hearing focused on yet another set of changes announced by state officials to their procedures for issuing photo identification cards to voters. Responding to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court opinion that raised questions about the ID card process, a procedure finalized last night eliminates the requirement that a voter first attempt to get a traditional Department of Transportation ID card before seeking a new card that was created last month as a “last resort.”
PennDOT’s deputy secretary for safety administration, Kurt Myers, outlined the changes this morning, and they were formally announced by Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele shortly thereafter. Anyone seeking an ID card for solely voting purposes now can request a Department of State ID card directly and without showing two proofs of residency.