Conyers Praises Pennsylvania Court's Voter ID Ruling
Washington, DC, October 2, 2012
Today, Judge Robert Simpson of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania partially blocked the state of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law. Specifically, the court struck down two provisions of the law that required voters to show their IDs within six days or appear before the county board of elections. Although the injunction applies to the election this November, the Judge stated that future hearings would be scheduled on the merits of the case brought by the plaintiffs. Further, election officials may still ask to see an individual’s ID, but an ID will not be required to cast a regular ballot. Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) released this statement following the court’s decision:
“I applaud Judge Simpson for granting a preliminary injunction in part on the state’s voter ID law, blocking the requirement that a voter must show a photo identification before casting a ballot in this November election. This ruling recognizes that voter ID laws discourage and disenfranchise citizens from engaging in the right to vote.
“This particular voter ID law was not common sense nor would it have deterred voter fraud that Pennsylvania lawmakers purported to exist. The law would have burdened minority, disabled, youth, elderly, and veterans populations, many of whom are less able to procure the required identification prior to Election Day. While effectively restricting access to the polls for innumerable Pennsylvania citizens, the law favored gun owners and the employed by including narrow exceptions to the photo identification requirement.
“The right to vote is at the heart of democracy in America, and serves as the cornerstone of all of our Constitutional freedoms. It is my hope that other states will come to recognize that voter ID laws are nothing short of voter suppression and a direct offense against our fundamental right to vote.”