A Pennsylvania court judge ruled in today on the state’s controversial new voter ID law by halting its implementation until after the election. Commonwealth judge Robert Simpson did not rule out voter identification in future elections, but the injunction suspends plans to implement the law this year. The law, which would require state issued photo identification at the polls, has been a hot topic this election cycle among both Democrats and Republicans. Voters will still be asked to produce identification this year, though it will not be a requirement to cast your vote. The argument over voter identification laws is far from finished. A number of states still have similar forms of the same law, and Republicans will wait to see if the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decides to rule on the case.
A number of states within the last year have championed voter identification laws with the hope of influencing the upcoming presidential and state elections. Democrats across the country have cried foul, claiming the new law unfairly targets minorities, young people and the elderly, many of whom are in the Democratic voting base.
Comments made by Pennsylvania House Republican leader Mike Turzai last June made suspicions of these claims worse when he stated, “Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
Further more, opponents of the law have raised the question of whether there is an actual need for voter identification laws in the first place. In a recent News21 investigation, the number of in-person voting fraud instances are insignificant (about one out of every 15 million voters) despite claims by Republicans supporters of the law that it is a widespread problem. The same study states voter fraud is more numerous in absentee and mail-in ballots.
According to the Wall Street Journal polls released September 2, Obama is ahead by seven points with 51% of the votes. Obama is scoring well in many of the key battleground states as well after Mitt Romney‘s 47 percent comments, though few would call the race a shoe-in. All eyes will be on the first round of debates this Wednesday. It will be the first time the country can hear both candidates speak on the same national stage.