People For the American Way Foundation

Voter ID lives to see another day in Pennsylvania

Although HB 934, Pennsylvania’s ALECtied voter ID law, has been tested since its passage earlier this year, it remains alive and well (for now, that is) after Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson refused to grant a temporary injunction. He was stunningly unconvinced that “disenfranchisement was immediate or inevitable” – even with state officials admitting that it would affect more Pennsylvanians than previously estimated. And, he wasn’t at all bothered by the fact that the purported rationale for the law was a pretext for taking away the right to vote: Pennsylvania conceded that there “have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania,” and House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, a one-time ALEC member, even championed its overtly political implications.

Voting rights supporters are by no means backing down.

Reverend Michael Couch, African American Ministers Leadership Council (AAMLC):

[T]his law is a purely political attempt to disenfranchise citizens who have every right to vote. I am dismayed at today’s decision and hope that as this case moves through the courts, our judges recognize the ugly intent and real consequences of voter ID.

Jennifer Clarke, Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia:

The determined men and women who came to court to describe their love of this country because we can all participate through the ballot box will simply have to wait for another day and another court to vindicate this most cherished of all rights.

Judith Browne-Dianis, Advancement Project:

Today’s ruling is an affront to a core American value and takes us back to a dark time in our nation’s history. […] Many will not be able to vote at all. This ruling is a backwards move for voters and we will appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO:

[T]he judge’s ruling that disenfranchisement in Pennsylvania is neither “immediate” nor “inevitable” defies reality. The ruling should be quickly reversed on appeal.

Click here and here for more information, and be sure to check out The Right to Vote under Attack: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box, a Right Wing Watch: In Focus report by PFAW Foundation.


112th Congress, Advancement Project, AFL-CIO, African American Ministers Leadership Council, ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, Jennifer Clarke, Michael Couch, Mike Turzai, PILCOP, Policy Corner, Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, public policy, Richard Trumka, Robert Simpson, voter ID, voter suppression, voting rights