Rock the Vote: No ID Required
Voters in Pennsylvania don’t need to show identification to vote on election day. A court ruled that because the state cannot guarantee that all eligible voters can easily get IDs, the controversial law will not go into effect for the election on Nov. 6.
The six month old law, which is among the nation’s toughest, caused heated controversy about voting rights ahead of the presidential election. The law required voters to show PA identification prior to voting. While the court halted the law until after the election, it is possible that it could issue a permanent injunction.
Senator John Yudichak, 14th Senate District, feels the latest ruling was the right decision because everyone who is registered will be able to vote.
“This ruling rightly ensures that not a single, eligible voter will be disenfranchised or turned away at the polls come election day,” said Yudichak. “Voting is one of our most fundamental rights and there was simply not enough time to enable voters to obtain necessary photo identification prior to this November’s election.”
State Senator Jay Costa, 43rd Senate District, said he suspects voters unaware of the latest ruling may still be disenfranchised.
“In my view, the court’s decision is the correct one in blocking the voter ID law from taking effect this November. The court is trying to deal with an ill-conceived and short-sighted law,” said Costa. “There has been so much controversy about this law, I still believe that some voters will not come out to vote fearing that they do not have the proper ID and therefore be disenfranchised.”
State Senator Daylin Leach, 17thSenate District, argues that the law unfairly targets certain groups.
“While I am elated that hundreds of thousands of poor people, racial minorities, students and elderly people who were going to be disenfranchised under this law will now be able to vote without jumping through costly, difficult, and even impossible hoops, there is still much work to be done.”
The law was sparked by lawmakers who say it will prevent voter fraud. Yudichak said voters should still work to get official identification. “I encourage everyone without a form of identification acceptable under the Voter ID law to continue taking steps to obtain a state issued identification card so that they are prepared in the event the law is fully implemented in the next election.”
Anyone wishing to vote during this year’s election still needs to be registered. The deadline for registration was Oct. 9.
A 1979 Supreme Court ruling gave college students the ability to register to vote at school or at home. Pennsylvania is a swing state in this year’s Presidential Election and accounts for 20 electoral votes. Students who decide to vote in Pennsylvania can have a significant impact on the presidential election.