Judge postpones Pennsylvania’s tough new voter ID law

A Pennsylvania judge Tuesday ordered state officials not to enforce the state's tough new voter ID law in the coming election, saying there was not enough time to ensure that some voters would not be disenfranchised.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson said election officials could still ask voters for a photo ID, but not turn away otherwise qualified voters who had not been able to obtain one.

Simpson said he was effectively extending a “soft run” of the new law envisioned by the General Assembly. In such cases, Simpson wrote, “an otherwise qualified elector who does not provide proof of identification may cast a ballot that shall be counted without the necessity of casting a provisional ballot.”

An appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is possible.

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Robert Barnes has been a Washington Post reporter and editor since 1987. He has covered the Supreme Court since November 2006.
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