A Pennsylvania judge on Friday struck down a key portion of the state’s voter ID law and permanently enjoined officials from enforcing the election-day requirement that voters show ID before being allowed to cast a ballot.
Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley said the state’s voter ID Law was intended to provide free and liberal access to an ID for those who lacked the requisite identification.
Instead of free and easy access, the judge said, state officials created a burdensome and confusing regime that resulted in de facto disenfranchisement of qualified Pennsylvania voters.
“This Court holds that the photo ID provisions of the Voter ID Law violate the fundamental right to vote and unnecessarily burden the hundreds of thousands of electors who lack compliant photo ID,” Judge McGinley wrote in his 50-page opinion.
The judge said he found no evidence that the voter ID law was passed by Pennsylvania’s Republican-majority legislature with the intention of disenfranchising certain voters who might be more inclined to vote for Democratic candidates.
Critics of the law cited comments reportedly made by the House majority leader that the voter ID requirement would allow Mitt Romney to carry Pennsylvania over Barak Obama in the 2012 presidential race. (Mr. Obama won Pennsylvania on his way to reelection in November 2012.)