Pennsylvania Judge Robert Simpson ruled on Oct. 2 that voters in the upcoming election would not be denied if they did not fulfill the photo ID requirement outlined in the Pennsylvania voter ID law — at least in this election.
The law, signed in March by Gov. Tom Corbett, would have required all voters to show a state-issued photo ID in order to have their vote counted. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court sent the case back to Simpson in the Commonwealth Court on an appeal. Simpson said in his ruling that he questioned whether there was sufficient time for voters to attain the necessary identification.
As John Moritz reports on P. 1, the injunction postpones the implementation of the law until after the November elections, when it will be reviewed further on Dec. 13 during a Status Review with Counsel Conference.
While The Temple News is relieved to hear the Pennsylvania voter ID law — a law that could have disenfranchised minority voters including students and members of the North Philadelphia community — will not be implemented in the upcoming election, we encourage students to not let the issue be forgotten like a subject absorbed just long enough to spill onto the pages of a midterm blue book.
Simpson’s ruling is only a temporary victory in the fight against the Pennsylvania voter ID law. The right to ensure every voter is able to cast a ballot in future elections is still at risk.
The Temple News supported Temple Student Government’s initiative toward redesigning and re-carding more than 45,000 students with Owl Cards to meet the expiration date requirement of voter ID law. We also continue to support state initiatives that push to distribute a valid form of photo ID to voters even though they aren’t required this election.
Poll workers can ask voters for photo IDs in November, but cannot turn away qualified voters — or deny them their rights — if they don’t have one.