State voter ID law is far from resolved [PA]

12/14/2012

HARRISBURG -- For anyone who breathed a sigh of relief at the October voter ID ruling -- opponents relieved that voters need not show identification in the presidential election, supporters who noted the injunction included only November -- a conference Thursday made clear the legal battle is far from over.

At a meeting with lawyers for the state and the challengers, Judge Robert Simpson, who ruled that Pennsylvania could not require voters in the November 2012 elections to show a specified form of photo identification, said he is likely to schedule a trial next summer to resolve the permanent status of the law.

Rounds of courtroom arguments and decisions earlier this year yielded only the ruling that a phase-in period built into the law -- when voters would be asked, but not required, to show photo ID -- would be extended from the April primary elections through the November general elections. There were rulings by Judge Simpson at the Commonwealth Court and by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, but the law's constitutionality remained undecided.