Judge Robert Simpson partially ruled to wait until 2013 to allow the voter ID law to go into effect in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court today under the premise that it would disenfranchise voters in the upcoming presidential election.
According to a memorandum opinion from Simpson, he rejected the argument that the law was created to require voters to produce identification.
Simpson said no cases provided by those in favor of the law showed evidence that the law was not created to cause voter disenfranchisement, according to the memorandum.
“I’m very pleased with the decision for the 2012 election,” said Greg Stewart, chairman of the Centre County Democratic Committee. “As the law stands now, there was going to be a substantial amount of individuals disenfranchised so I think it was the right thing to do.”
Stewart said although Penn State had complied with the requirements to put an expiration date on the student IDs, many universities were unable to do so, and said this would have disenfranchised 23,000 students.
He said it was next to impossible to everyone an ID in time for the election, especially those who did not have licenses and were unable to get to the voting center.
“I just wish they would have struck it down as being unconstitutional because I just don’t believe the law is constitutional,” Stewart said. “But we’ll take one victory at a time.”
However, Deb Flavin, secretary and executive director of the Centre County Republicans, said she was disappointed in the court’s decision.
“We work very hard to protect the ability to own guns, to protect freedom of speech, we need to do the same to protect the vote,” Flavin said. “I would like my vote to count, I don’t want somebody in another part of the commonwealth, who is voting illegally, to cancel my vote out.”
Flavin said although people argued there had been no cases of voter fraud, it would be too late to tell after the election whether or not fraud had occurred.
She said the good news was the law would go into effect in the upcoming year.
Read Wednesday's edition of The Daily Collegian for more details.