A judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that a controversial law requiring voters to produce a specific form of ID when they vote is unconstitutional.
The measure was introduced in March 2012 and stated that if a voter showed up to vote but did not have a specifically stated form of identification, they would be turned away. However it was immediately challenged and debated in court ever since.
It was estimated that the law would disenfranchise 750,000 Pennsylvanians. That represented a staggering 1 in 10 voters in the Commonwealth. It was nakedly designed by its authors to coincide with the 2012 presidential election. The Republican State House Majority Leader Mike Turzai even went on record and said that the law was “gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”
President Obama eventually won Pennsylvania with 51.97% of the vote.
In a ruling issued today, Judge Bernard L. McGinley wrote:
[box type=”shadow”]”In Pennsylvania, the right of qualified electors to vote is a fundamental one. Pennsylvania precedent does not permit regulation of the right to vote when such regulation denies the franchise, or ‘make[s] it so difficult as to amount to a denial.”[/box]
Judge McGinley went on to say that since voter fraud was “exceedingly rare,” and a “vague concern about voter fraud does not rise to a level that justifies the burdens constructed here.”
The case is now likely to be elevated to the Pennsylvania State State Supreme Court.