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Judge Won’t Halt Pennsylvania Voter Identification Law

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(Viviette Applewhite, 93, is lead plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania's new voter ID law.  Credit: Cherri Gregg)

(Viviette Applewhite, 93, is lead plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law. Credit: Cherri Gregg)

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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A Pennsylvania judge says he won’t block implementation of Pennsylvania’s controversial new voter photo ID law.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson today refused to grant an injunction that would have halted the law requiring each voter to show a valid photo ID.

The judge, in his ruling, said the broad solution of invalidating the law is not reasonably suited to deal with the problems some voters may encounter in obtaining a valid ID for voting.

He said a more appropriate remedy would be to seek relief for “those few qualified electors on whom Act 18 imposes an enhanced burden.”

The judge also cited the availability of remedies for voters with ID problems, including provisional ballots, which will allow people to vote with the validity of the ballot to be determined later.

Opponents are expected to file a prompt appeal to the state Supreme Court as the November 6th presidential election looms (see related story).

The law has been the subject of a furious debate over voting rights. People challenging it include some legitimate voters who say they’ll be unable to vote (see related story).

Democrats say the law will make it harder for the elderly, minorities, the poor, and young adults to vote, and is designed to help Republican challenger Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama in the next race for the White House (see related story).

Republicans who control the state legislature and the governor’s office say the law is designed to prevent voter fraud (another related story).

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