Judge halts strict Pennsylvania voter ID law


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.


J.D. Pooley

A judge put a halt to Pennsylvania's strict voter ID law on Tuesday in a move that's expected to influence Election Day turnout in the battleground state.

Just five weeks before the presidential election, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson ordered that the controversial requirement not be enforced until next year, Reuters reported.

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The 6-month-old law -- among the toughest in the country -- requires voters to show a photo ID in order to vote.

Civil rights advocates have argued the law will keep some 750,000 registered voters who don’t have photo IDs from voting in the presidential election, particularly the young, elderly and the poor, The Associated Press reported.

Republicans have hailed the law as a way to reduce election fraud.

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Simpson upheld the requirement just last month, but said in his ruling Tuesday that he had expected more photo IDs to be issued by this time, USA Today reported.

"For this reason, I accept petitioners' argument that in the remaining five weeks before the general election, the gap between the photo IDs issued and the estimated need will not be closed," he wrote.

The decision could now be appealed to the state Supreme Court.