Wednesday, September 19, 2012

UPDATE: Penn. voter suppression law vacated, not overturned

We jumped the gun a little on the Pennsylvania voter suppression law. (Sorry, we got excited.) Turns out the state Supreme Court sent the law back to a lower court, instead of overturning it.

PR Watch reports
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has vacated a lower court ruling that had upheld the state's voter ID law, setting the stage for the law to be blocked before the November elections. 
Because of evidence suggesting the state has not provided sufficient access to voter identification cards, the Court returned the case for reconsideration to lower court Judge Robert Simpson, who upheld the law last month. 
"We are confronted with an ambitious effort on the part of the General Assembly to bring the new identification procedure into effect within a relatively short timeframe and an implementation process which has by no means been seamless," the court wrote in a 4-2 decision. 
Although the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did not throw out the voter ID law, it instructed Judge Simpson to block its implementation if he finds the state has not provided "liberal access" to voter ID cards, or if he is no longer convinced that the law will not disenfranchise voters.
One would think that's the only conclusion Judge Simpson could reach. Only 7,200 Pennsylvania citizens have obtained the identification card,, and that 800,000 still need it to vote -- and the November election is fast approaching.