Voter ID Law

picture by Flickr user NatalieMaynor

By Brian Chekal

As the election draws ever and ever closer, both parties have frantically done all they can to bring even a few votes to their favor. One of these includes the ongoing debate over a recently passed law that states that one must need  voter registration and identification in order to vote.

The new law that passed Congress is largely Republican backed, and was created in order to prevent voter fraud in America. As a result, Democrats have caught on, accusing Republicans of passing laws to hinder the votes of tens of thousands of poor, minority, and elderly people, basically groups that have largely voted Democrat in the past. This law has key provisions that include new regulations restricting voting to those who supply key documents, such as their birth certificate.  However, some people were given provisional ballots so they could vote in November. These provisional votes would be thrown out if the voter’s ID isn’t provided . The primary reason that the opponents of this law are so infuriated is the fact that this law is not centered or restricted to certain states. Democrats accuse their peers across the that these provisions would restrict critical democratic votes in states that will be very close races this November.

This controversy has now left just the street side protests and TV sets and has since moved on to the court room. A Pennsylvania Commonwealth  Court Judge, Robert Simpson Jr.,  has suspended the enforcement of this rule in his state, one that is anticipated to be highly contested in the very tight, and very close, race.  Judge Robert Simpson Jr. ruled on this exact law not six weeks ago. However, unlike this recent ruling, his views then upheld this new law in its entirety. His initial ruling dealt primarily with whether or not the General Assembly had the right to impose such laws on the populace of Pennsylvania. He decided it did, basing his ruling on an previously pass ruling in his state that dealt with a similar issue. Opponents appealed and as a result, the Pennsylvania high court sent the case back to Judge Simpson, ordering him to rule on the “practical side of things.” Based on this decision from a much higher court, Judge Simpson ruled in favor of the Democrats. However, this debate doesn’t seem like it will be solved anytime soon, due to the fact that proponents to this bill still have a lot of firepower left to use.