Politics

Pennsylvania’s strict voter ID law is upheld

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BOWLING GREEN, OH - MARCH 6: Barbara Bovee casting her ballot at a polling station setup at an elementary school as Ohio heads to the polls on March 6, 2012 in Bowling Green, Ohio. Voters in several states headed to the polls on Super Tuesday as the Republican party continues the process of deciding who will be their general election candidate against President Barack Obama.

Credit:

J.D. Pooley

Pennsylvania Judge Robert E. Simpson upheld the state’s strict new voter ID laws on Wednesday.

The law can take effect in Pennsylvania for November's presidential election despite criticism from civil rights groups that claim it will make it harder for many people to vote - particularly the young, elderly and the poor, the Associated Press reported.

Opponents are appealing the decision to the state Supreme Court.

"We're not done, it's not over," Witold J. Walczak, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who helped argue the case told the AP. "It's why they make appeals courts."

Civil rights advocates say the law will keep some 750,000 registered voters who don’t have the required ID from voting in the presidential election, according to Billmoyers.com.

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In a 70-page order, Simpson, a Republican, said opponents failed to show “that disenfranchisement was immediate or inevitable."

Critics say the Republican-backed law was pushed through despite objections from Pennsylvania Democrats and has reignited a national debate over voting rights.

In Florida, Governor Rick Scott recently ordered the state to purge all “non-citizens” from the voting rolls prior to November’s election, affecting over 180,000 voters.