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Voter ID Law Upheld

On Wednesday, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, who heard the legal challenge against the state’s new Voter ID law, ruled that the law is constitutional, and refused to grant an injunction against implementation of the provisions of the law.

In Simpson’s 70-page opinion, he wrote, “Petitioners’ counsel did an excellent job of ‘putting a face’ to those burdened to the voter ID requirement. At the end of the day, however, I do not have the luxury of deciding this issue based on my sympathy for the witnesses or my esteem for counsel. Rather, I must analyze the law, and apply it to evidence of facial unconstitutionality brought forth in the courtroom, tested by our adversarial system.”

Opponents of the bill claim that the law would place burdensome requirements on some eligible voters thereby infringing on their fundamental right to vote.

Simpson cited Pennsylvania case law, writing the Voter ID law “does not attempt to alter or amend the Pennsylvania Constitution’s substantive voter qualifications, but rather is merely an election regulation to verify a voter’s identity. Further, and perhaps more importantly, the legislature has the power to define which electors are ‘qualified.’”

Groups involved in the lawsuit plan to file an appeal with the state Supreme Court and will seek an expedited ruling.