Judge again blocks Pa. voter ID law -- for now
Updated On: Aug 16 2013 08:43:01 PM CDT
A Pittsburgh judge on Friday barred enforcement of Pennsylvania's voter-identification law for the Nov. 5 general election, as well as any election that may come before.
State Judge Bernard McGinley's preliminary injunction means Pennsylvania will again go the polls with no enforcement of the law -- a different judge made similar ruling a month before the 2012 presidential election.
In fact, the controversial law has never been implemented; it has languished in a legal limbo since Republican Gov. Tom Corbett signed the bill into law in March 2012.
Friday's injunction is part of ongoing litigation trying to settle the matter -- and agreed to by both parties. McGinley noted that he had not ruled on the voter ID law one way or the other only that the upcoming election was too close not to put off a ruling. He intends to rule before any elections after those this November for judicial, municipal and state legislature offices.
Gov. Corbett did not object to Friday's ruling.
"During this summer's trial regarding Pennsylvania's Voter ID law, we made it clear to the court that the Commonwealth did not object to delaying the full implementation of photo ID requirements until after the November municipal election," Nils Hagen-Frederiksen, Corbett's press secretary, said in a statement. "Judge McGinley's Order is consistent with our position."
Pennsylvania is one of 31 states with some form of voter ID measure in place; and one of only a handful that require it to be a photo ID.
"We are very pleased that hundreds of thousands of eligible voters will be able to cast ballots in upcoming elections regardless of whether or not they have required identification," Jennifer Clarke of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia - one of a number of several plaintiffs challenging the law - said in a statement.
Supporters argue the law once implemented will prevent voter fraud.
"I'm disappointed," said Horace Cooper, director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Voter Identification Task Force. But Cooper says he remains enthusiastic because "the delay has nothing to do with the merits of the law," he told CNN, only with the process of its implementation.
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