Chalk one up for voter fraud. Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson ruled today that the voter ID requirements signed into law this past March cannot be enforced until after the general election. His reason? Disenfranchisement of potential voters. The law states that voters must present a valid photo ID in order to cast a ballot. Under Simpson’s ruling, voters can still be asked for identification, but if they cannot comply, they will still be allowed to vote:
“I am not still convinced in my predictive judgment that there will be no voter disenfranchisement arising out of the commonwealth’s implementation of a voter identification requirement for purposes of the upcoming election,” Simpson wrote. “Under these circumstances, I am obliged to enter a preliminary injunction.”
However, Simpson’s ruling allows other provisions of the law to stand, including voter education efforts that a photo ID is required to cast a ballot. Election officials also can ask for a photo ID, but cannot prevent people from voting if they don’t have one.
The judge wrote that state legislators intended for election officials to request a photo ID during the transition period for the new law “even though the vote will be counted regardless of compliance with the request.”
Several people remarked on the the judge strangely sanctioning ballot workers to ignore photo IDs:
So PA election officials can ask for IDs but every voter gets to vote on a machine whether they have the ID or not. Strange ruling
— Howie Klein (@downwithtyranny) October 2, 2012
PA voter ID ruling is bizarre. You can still be asked for ID, but then vote anyway if you don't have it? http://t.co/EyyGGAc9
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) October 2, 2012
Just heard oddest report on PA voter ID. If u show up to vote u'll b asked for ID but u won't b required to provide it? Can any1 shed light?
— Just a girl venting (@Lilleth71) October 2, 2012
It’s worth noting that this is the same Judge Robert Simpson who ruled against an injunction in August. So perhaps his wishy-washy view of the photo ID requirement isn’t so out of character.
Those who subscribe to the Sarah Silverman school of thought and believe large swaths of voters are too incompetent to procure valid photo IDs were ecstatic:
pa voter id law shot down thank you jesus!
— Big Reece (@goodfella215) October 2, 2012
BREAKING NEWS: PA NO PHO ID! THE PEOPLE HAVE WON! Take that GOP! NO POLL TAX, NO VOTER FRAUD. YOU WILL NOT TAKE US BACKWARD!
— Fran (@DeeeVaaa) October 2, 2012
Yes! Progress! Hopefully this will be the last word before the election http://t.co/8tzUL77Q
— benburns (@benburns) October 2, 2012
— Mike Stout (@mikestout_msu) October 2, 2012
— Adam (@acwTX) October 2, 2012
Big victory for voters in Pa. as Judge halts voter ID law that would have disadvantaged minorities in Nov election! http://t.co/0g7jGYnD
— Areva Martin, Esq. (@ArevaMartin) October 2, 2012
PA Voter ID law ordered not be enforced. This is a huge victory!!
— Michael David (@MichaelVthe2nd) October 2, 2012
so happy about the voter ID ruling in PA.. sorry GOP.. just going to have to find another way to disenfranchise voters
— Jody Franklin (@Ben__Franklin) October 2, 2012
Judge blocked PA voter ID law! Eat that, Republicans!
— Diana's 2 Sense (@DianaHollins) October 2, 2012
Glad PA Supreme Court threw out that jacked voter id law. Victory for elderly,disabled, students and all who would've been disenfranchised.
— PJ (@PJ4MJJ) October 2, 2012
— Todd Pruzan (@toddpruzan) October 2, 2012
Judge in PA blocks republican attempts to disinfranchise thousands of poor, elderly and minority voters by throwing out voter ID law
— Christopher Vanni (@TheOriginal_CV) October 2, 2012
— Rejane F (@Frederc10) October 2, 2012
Proponents of accountability were disgusted:
NO VOTER PIC ID IN PA. WHAT WTH! WHAT HAS OUR COUNTRY COME TO?
— Sherry Samples (@sherrysamples) October 2, 2012
Doesn't matter which party you lean towards it should be a requirement to provide a valid id when voting. http://t.co/kHRGQU81
— kchisler (@iufannva) October 2, 2012
Due 2 a judges ruling the PA Voter ID Law is being postponed meaning that it wont be enforced in 2012 elections. Expect voter fraud 2 be bad
— Shawn Fitzgerald (@TheAmericanTMan) October 2, 2012
PA voter ID law overturned. Im gunna go there now and try to buy booze w/o an ID and see how that goes… #commonsense
— Dennis Courchaine (@dennyJr22) October 2, 2012
Tough? Really having a photo ID is tough? I foresee more Obama voter fraud in PA with the help of the Obama… http://t.co/TAJbnN0e
— LandOfDave.com (@LandOfDave) October 2, 2012
PA judge today ordered state officials NOT TO ENFORCE new voter ID laws b/c "some voters would otherwise be disenfranchised." No photo? OK.
— Katylee McInerney (@Magniflux2) October 2, 2012
Someone explain the problem w/having to show an ID when you go vote. Why is that so hard? Judge blocks PA voter ID law http://t.co/Otvj9puX
— Heather (@HeatherRM27) October 2, 2012
@Talkmaster We're not reading the voter ID case right, the news release should've read: Pa. Judge rules Democrats too stupid to get an I.D.
— Jordan Kinard (@JordanKinard) October 2, 2012
PA judge ensures state will have huge voter fraud by blocking requirement to show ID when voting. Sad day for honest elections.
— Rob Conway (@conwayrd) October 2, 2012
— linda (@pinnie99) October 2, 2012
— Robert Pullins (@rpullins) October 2, 2012
So PA rejects voter ID law? Why not? What could be less important than safeguarding the integrity of the core democratic process? Incredible
— David Limbaugh (@DavidLimbaugh) October 2, 2012
The ruling could still be appealed, though with just over one month left until the general election, time is running out.