Groups on opposite sides of the Pennsylvania voter ID law will get the chance to argue their viewpoints in front of the state Supreme Court, according to the Associated Press. In August Judge Robert Simpson decided touphold the law and keep it in effect for the upcoming November election, according to USA Today. The law requires Pennsylvania voters to show valid photo identification prior to casting a ballot. Since becoming official in March of 2012, the new law has been targeted by groups that claim the regulations unfairly target minorities, elderly, and the poor, according to the AP report.
How many people could the law affect?
As many as one million voters could be affected by new voter identification requirements across the United States, according to the Huffington Post. However, the exact number of Pennsylvania voters expected to have issues with identification is unclear, but groups believe that number is considerable, which has led to the lawsuit getting an audience with the state Supreme Court.
What types of photo identification are allowed under the new law?
According to ABC News, a valid government-issued photo ID is required under the new law, and that broad segment includes: state driver's licenses, government ID badges, military IDs, and even identification issued by state colleges and nursing homes as long as the document contains an expiration date. Potential voters without the necessary ID can also apply for a voter identification card from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, but the lines are already starting to get long for those documents, as ABC reports.
Without a photo ID will voters be turned away from the polls?
Voters who show up to the polls without a valid form of photo identification will be allowed to fill out a provisional ballot, which will be counted when the voter gets proper ID and reports back to election administrators, according to the Associated Press.
Will the state Supreme Court decision be the last word on the law?
While the high court will have the power to keep the law from taking effect until after the November election or strike it down entirely, groups opposed to the legislation also have an ally with the United States Justice Department. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department is conducting an investigation into the Pennsylvania voter ID law, but it is unclear as to what action the department may or may not take.
Jason Gallagher is a longtime Pennsylvania resident. He has experiences in trends and developments in many regions from having lived in many parts of the Keystone State, and currently resides in the Pittsburgh area.
- Politics & Government