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Pa. judge: Voter ID injunction 'possible'

Sept. 25, 2012 at 7:52 PM
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HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The judge considering a legal challenge to Pennsylvania's voter ID law said Tuesday "it's possible" he might issue an injunction against enforcing the law.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson -- hearing arguments in the matter one week after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court returned the case to the lower court -- said he must consider the possibility of enjoining enforcement and ordered attorneys on both sides to return to court Thursday prepared to discuss the framework of an injunction, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

"I think it's possible there could be an injunction entered here," he said. "I need some input from people who have been thinking about this longer than I have."

The law provides that those who cannot show the proper form of identification at the polls may cast provisional ballots, and would then have six days have to produce a voter ID or their votes would not be counted.

In voting 4-2 to return the issue to the lower court, the state Supreme Court said if the lower court holds the law is being implemented in such as way as to ensure all voters have access to the required photo ID, the law can stand -- but if not, the law would be overturned.

During testimony Tuesday, opponents of the law argued that changes announced this week by state officials in how photo ID cards will be issued came too late -- five weeks before the election -- to compensate for stricter requirements for obtaining ID cards after the law was enacted in March, the Post-Gazette said.

Simpson had previously ruled the law was being implemented fairly.

Thursday's court session is expected to feature testimony from Pennsylvanians who have not been able to secure photo ID cards, the newspaper said.

Pennsylvania, carried by Barack Obama in 2008, appears to be a swing state this year. Mike Turzai, majority leader of the state House of Representatives, told a meeting of fellow Republicans this year the stringent voter ID law would allow Republican nominee Mitt Romney to carry the state.

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