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Arizona Voter ID Law Overturned; Little Effect Seen on Pennsylvania Law

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(A sign outside a Penndot office advertises the availability of voter ID cards which the law, later delayed, would have required on Election Day.  File photo by John Ostapkovich)

(A sign outside a Penndot office advertises the availability of voter ID cards which the law, later delayed, would have required on Election Day. File photo by John Ostapkovich)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvanians undoubtedly will be wondering whether today’s US Supreme Court decision striking down Arizona’s voter ID law (see related story) will have any impact on Pennsylvania’s equally controversial voter ID law.

The consensus is that it will not.

Pennsylvania’s voter ID law will be argued in Commonwealth Court next month but, according to ACLU attorney Vic Walczak, who represents the plaintiffs challenging the law, the issues are completely different.

“In Arizona, this case dealt with voter registration, whereas in Pennsylvania we’re talking about requirements for actually voting,” Walczak explains.

The Pennsylvania law requires voters to produce state-issued or similar photo ID to prove they are the person who is registered (see related stories).  Walczak says even though the US Supreme Court ruling doesn’t affect Pennsylvania’s law at all, he nevertheless welcomes it.

“What we need in this country are laws that make it easier for eligible voters to be able to cast ballots, not a bunch of new laws that make it more difficult,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

Walczack notes that voter turnout is barely more than 50 percent, even in big elections.

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