The European Politics Blog

Blogging about politics and current affairs in Europe

Pennsylvania Voter-ID Ruling

On October 2nd, a Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson in Pennsylvania ruled that state officials cannot enforce a new voter identification law in the US presidential elections to be held next month. The law, signed in March, has seen widespread support amongst Republicans, because they claim it would prevent voter fraud.

The Democrats had opposed this move stating that the voter ID law is motivated by Republican efforts to suppress the traditionally Democratic minority vote. Polls have shown President Obama in the lead for Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes.The Democrats believe it is crucial to allow people without photo-voter IDs to vote on regular ballots in the general election.

Prior to the new law being introduced, first-time voters in Pennsylvania were allowed to present documents like bank statements and utility bills for identification purposes. A great amount of restriction would be placed on voters under the new law, which when completely active would only see voters being able to cast their ballots after presenting their photo-voter IDs.

In order to obtain a photo ID, US residents will need to have a valid Social Security card, an official birth certificate or US citizenship documents, and two proofs of residency which could be anything from a utility bill to tax records.

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