In a victory for access to the polls, a state judge struck down Pennsylvania’s voter ID law today. Rick Hasen tells us what it means:
This is a clear victory for opponents of voter id laws, with a finding that:
- the implementation of the voter id law violated the law’s own promise of liberal access to voter id
- the implementation exceeded the agency’s authority to administer the program
- the voter education efforts were woefully inadequate
- as a whole the Pa. voter id program violated the Pa. constitutional’s fundamental right to vote.
In this regard, it is important to note that the court rejected Pa’s argument that the law was aimed at preventing voter fraud. The judge found that the state presented no evidence the law was necessary either to prevent fraud or to keep public confidence in the fairness of the election process.
(Reformatting mine.) You should read the whole thing, including Hasen’s big caveat: the judge didn’t rule that voter ID was a violation of equal protection and did rule that the law wasn’t motivated by an attempt to disenfranchise minorities or Democratic voters. Because of this, it’s not clear if the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will affirm this decision.