Judge Won't Block Pennsylvania Voter ID Law

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 15, 2012 9:41 AM CDT
Demonstrators hold signs at an NAACP-organized rally on the steps of the Pennsylvania Capitol to protest the state's new voter identification law, July 24, 2012 in Harrisburg, Pa.   (AP Photo/Marc Levy)
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(Newser) – A Pennsylvania judge today refused to stop a tough new voter identification law from going into effect, which Democrats say will suppress votes among President Barack Obama's supporters. Opponents are expected to file an appeal within a day or two to the state Supreme Court as the Nov. 6 presidential election looms. "We're not done, it's not over," says an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who helped argue the case. "It's why they make appeals courts."

Votes by four of six Supreme Court justices would be needed to overturn the ruling by Judge Robert Simpson, who is a Republican. But the high court is currently split between three Republicans and three Democrats. Republicans defend the law—which requires all Pennsylvania voters to produce a valid photo ID before their ballot can be counted—as necessary to protect the integrity of the election. But Democrats say the law will make it harder for the elderly, minorities, the poor, and college students to vote, as part of a partisan scheme to help Mitt Romney. (Read more Pennsylvania stories.)

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