Voter ID Ruling a Partial Victory for Voting Rights But Could Still Cause Confusion at the Polls, Say PA Ministers

Philadelphia, Penn. – Pennsylvania members of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council praised a commonwealth court ruling that prevents Pennsylvania from fully enforcing its restrictive voter ID law this November. Voters without ID will still be able to cast ballots that will be counted. However, the ministers also expressed concern because voters will still be asked to provide IDs at the polls, even though they can vote without one. Voters without a sufficient ID may wrongfully conclude that they it would be a waste of time to show up at the polls on Election Day.

“We are grateful for this partial injunction, and will work hard to ensure that every Pennsylvania voter knows his or her rights under the law on November 6,” said Rev. Michael Couch of Berachah Baptist Church in Philadelphia. “Nothing but a full injunction of the voter ID law will truly reopen our elections to all eligible voters, but today’s decision means that nobody will be turned away from the polls for lack of ID. We will be working extra hard to make sure members of our congregations and our communities know their rights and cast a vote that counts on November 6.”

The African American Ministers Leadership Council, a program of People For the American Way Foundation founded in 1997, works nationwide to help bring African Americans to the polls through the non-partisan “I Am A VESSEL and I Vote!” program.

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