Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson heard testimony Thursday from witnesses who said they had received inaccurate and confusing instructions from state workers, and had waited for hours at Department of Transportation offices only to be told they would have to return with further documentation to receive free voter ID cards. Some said they had been charged a fee for the cards, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Simpson said Tuesday -- one week after the state Supreme Court returned the case to the lower court -- he must consider the possibility of enjoining enforcement of the law.
"I think it's possible there could be an injunction entered here," he said.
The law, enacted by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed into law in March by GOP Gov. Tom Corbett, provides that those who cannot show the proper form of identification at the polls may cast provisional ballots, and would 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. The court gave Simpson -- who had previously ruled the law was being implemented fairly -- until Oct. 2 to decide the issue.
President Barack Obama, who carried Pennsylvania in 2008, has taken a lead in recent polls over Republican nominee Mitt Romney. 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 Romney to carry the state.