Breaking: PA Judge Strikes Down Voter ID

The state spent over $6 million on mailers like this one as well as TV and radio ads promoting the new requirement.

The state spent over $6 million on mailers like this one as well as TV and radio ads promoting the new requirement.

A Pennsylvania judge struck down the state’s Voter ID requirement Friday, citing its inherent threat to the rights of legitimate voters as well as problems with the law’s implementation.

In his ruling, Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley said the law was unconstitutional.

“[The Voter ID Law is] invalid and unconstitutional on its face as the provision and issuance of compliant identification does not comport with liberal access and unreasonably burdens the right to vote,” he wrote.

“Voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election; the Voter ID Law does not further this goal.”

McGinley said the state’s efforts to make it easier for voters to obtain ID – or to mitigate any problems by using provisional ballots – are insufficient.

“The right to vote, fundamental in Pennsylvania, is irreplacable, necesitating its protection before any deprivation occurs. Deprivation of the franchise is neither compensable nor reparable by after-the-fact legal remedies, necessitating injunctive and declaratory relief.”

Attorney General Kathleen Kane released the following statement:

“I respect Judge McGinley’s very thoughtful decision in this matter. The Office of Attorney General will continue to defend the rights of all Pennsylvanians, and we will work with all related Commonwealth agencies to carry out this decision and ensure that all voters have access to free and fair elections.”

PoliticsPA is also seeking comment from Governor Tom Corbett, who supported the requirement and signed it into law.

The state legislature passed the Voter ID law in spring 2012. It required that all voters furnish photo identification at the polls, including but not limited to a drivers licenses, passport, military ID, certain students ID and certain nursing home IDs.

Supporters of the law said it was necessary to prevent voter fraud. Opponents said it was a partisan effort to suppress the votes of minorities, the elderly and students who disproportionately lack ID and are more likely to support Democrats.

The voter ID requirement was never in effect during an election due to ongoing injunctions from the courts.

In their legal challenge to the law, opponents said the burden of proof was on supporters to prove that in-person voter fraud was a serious threat. Judge McGinley agreed, and he said they had failed.

“Certainly a vague concern about voter fraud does not rise to a level that justifies the burdens constructed here,” McGinley wrote.

January 17th, 2014 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 27 Comments

27 thoughts on “Breaking: PA Judge Strikes Down Voter ID”

  1. Greg K. says:

    It’s always amusing watching reactionaries spit and sputter with impotent rage as the long arc of time continues to bend towards justice, despite their best efforts. I wonder if they’re as preemptively ashamed of their future grandchildren as their grandchildren will be of them.

  2. Kathleen3 says:

    The ignorance and propaganda included in these posts only further confirms the fact PA is one of the most backward states in the U.S.
    Union thugs who brazenly deny admission to Republican poll workers, Democrats taking church members to the polls two days prior to elections, and people with an IQ that matches their shoe size protesting a policy that is common practice in a civilized society only further convinces me of the need to pass a voter ID bill.

  3. Bono says:

    What gives? Nary a word from disingenuous one, Daryl Metcalfe. No doubt he’s got his tail stuck between his legs.

  4. Larry says:

    I assume that the ACLU will sue to strike down Obamacare now, since you are required to show photo ID for that.

  5. fightinggranny says:

    You need ID to vote in a Union, but not your most important right, the vote. Insanity at its finest.

  6. Brad says:

    @Joe –

    You do realize that a tax system with multiple tiers is not a “flat tax”, right? A “flat tax has one tier to it, like Pennsylvania’s Personal Income Tax (with a 3.07% rate for all income levels). You know your plan sounds a lot like the current federal tax system, right? Your plan would have four tiers (5%, 10%, 15%, and 20%), presumably based on marginal income, right? The current federal tax system has seven tiers (10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%) based on marginal income values. Would you have anything deductible from income tax? Would you have a separate rate for capital gains?

    Also, I didn’t know President Obama wants to “grant instant citizenship to 60 million Mexicans.” You know that requires an act of Congress, with a House controlled by the GOp, right? And he wants to “instantly” grant citizenship to more than half the population of Mexico? Because “60 million Mexicans” represents more than half the population of Mexico. But you know that too, right?

    I think perhaps you should spend more time learning before spouting-off. You may look less foolish.

  7. Basile says:

    “Or is your vision a country of the 1 %, for the 1% and by the 1 % and only for whites?”-Paul R

    Well said.

  8. Joe says:


    Vladimir Lenin’s army of useful idiots is still out there. My vision of a perfect union, you ask? Only ASSIMILATED people who have their allegiances to the BILL OF RIGHTS and the American citizenry should be allowed into this country, and that means the borders need to be closed off. If your allegiances are with Mexico, France, China, or Nigeria etc. etc.. than you have o business living in this country. Remove the U.s. Military from every nation around the world, including our closest allies. Cut the military back to a proportionate size of our GDP that it was after WW2. End the war on drugs and abolish the following federal police forces; ATF, NSA, DHS, DEA, and the IRS. Establish a 4 tier flat tax system with brackets at 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20%, and put Social Security back into the original trust fund before LBJ signed an EO to put it in the general fund. Remember, I’m not the one invoking race into every topic here. How’s that for a perfect union, COMRADES?!

  9. tommyd says:

    I think Joe might actually be a liberal activist trying to discredit Tea Partyers with his insane palaver.

  10. Paul Roden says:

    This is great news for the people of the Commonwealth of PA. Despite ALEC, the Tea Party and the Republicans to restrict the right to vote, the “check and balance” of the PA courts have struck down this anti-democratic, racist, right wing, reactionary law, whose only purpose was to discourage, impede and block Democrats, poor people and people of color from voting. This is their Constitutional Right. For your information, the Soviet Union doesn’t exist. President Obama is not a Communist, a Socialist, a Muslim and he was born in this country. Get over it! He won two elections and he is African-American. Accept it and move on. What are your ideas for a “more perfect union?” Or is your vision a country of the 1 %, for the 1% and by the 1 % and only for whites?

  11. Joe says:

    Good to know, because I am generous enough to pay for your ticket there. Comrade (former KGB colonel) Putin is reinstating Soviet-like policies in the Russian Federation.

  12. 13thDistDem says:


    Good. Our fine airport sells one-way tickets all over the world. I hear Russia is nice this time of year.

  13. Nathan Shrader says:

    This is a great day for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania!

  14. Joe says:

    A disaster for our nation’s national sovereignty as comrade Obama will soon be granting amnesty, via executive order, to 60 million illegals from the third world (Mexico, in particular.) 54 precincts in the Philadelphia metro area, spanning from the city and through the montco and delco suburbs had up to 130% of the vote, with all votes going for Chairman MAObama. The communist democrats only way to turn this country into the new Soviet Union or North Korea is to grant instant citizenship to 60 million Mexicans. Couple this with no voter I.D. laws, and everyone of those pigs will be able to vote early and vote often……. for the communist democrats none the less. All of you Soviet scum who oppose voter I.D. can rot away for all I care, I won’t tolerate living in your future Soviet style utopia.

  15. 13thDistDem says:

    We show ID for less! What is the problem in showing ID before you cast a vote?


    Because voting is a constitutional right, whereas things you might need an ID for like driving, purchasing alcohol or tobacco, getting into a bar, etc, do not rise to the level of constitutional right.

  16. Basile says:

    “True…… however their misleading million dollar ad campaign to “Show it” for IDs, while the law was suspended, was intentionally confusing and caused some voter suppression. “-DD

    Maybe the Governor can use the advertising money and the money to appeal this for the pension crisis.

  17. David Diano says:

    Women who have changed their name when they got married have a particularly tough time meeting the requirements, or have to make multiple trips. This is especially hard on elderly widows or women or have remarried, because they have to provided a paper trail of marriage licenses.

    The DMV’s in this state are already understaffed with limited hours, long wait times, inconsistent instructions to voters, and inconvenient locations.

    The law specifically prohibits the county (where you actually register and who maintain your voter records) from issuing you a voter ID. In the past, they would mail you a paper one (with your polling location) and possession of it was considered sufficient ID to vote.

  18. PAProg says:

    Wake me up when I don’t have to show ID to get Advil Cold & Sinus anymore.

  19. Alan Vandersloot says:

    For those who feel the Judge made a wrong decision- publicize any names of voters you personally know committed voter fraud!

    If voter fraud really was an issue to fair elections- don’t you think both parties would have studied the facts and compromised to pass a voter i.d. law that was not a cynical attempt to disenfranchise voters?

    But that would have been a solution searching for a problem.

  20. Carlos says:

    @Strizzo – If voter fraud exists, why didn’t Tom Corbett prosecute any cases of it during his time as Attorney General?

  21. Al says:

    “Refreshing and happy to see this”

    Bad news for the tea party and repubs…They have been trying to rig the polls for so long

    You must be part of the obamanation! We show ID for less! What is the problem in showing ID before you cast a vote? Showing ID could help eliminate voter fraud! Tell me, how much of that went on in the last election? Why are all the democrats upset in PA? Start packing obamanation lib-tards, you have done enough damage these past 5 years! GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  22. strizzo says:

    Those who do not have ID to vote can get free ID cards so they can vote. They just have to present proper documentation to get the ID. Even if someone forgets their ID, they can fill out a provisional ballot and as long as they can prove their identity within six days, their vote counts.This is just an excuse to keep voter fraud alive in PA.

  23. Kathleen3 says:

    I am embarrassed to live in this state. We have major cities run by union thugs, driven to the ground by decades of Democrat control, and judges (in addition to those who have not been convicted) making law vs upholding the Constitution and law.

  24. Sandy says:

    Refreshing and happy to see this.

  25. David Diano says:

    “The voter ID requirement was never in effect during an election due to ongoing injunctions from the courts”

    True…… however their misleading million dollar ad campaign to “Show it” for IDs, while the law was suspended, was intentionally confusing and caused some voter suppression. Some Voters without state IDs avoided the polls thinking the law was in effect.

  26. dave says:

    Bad news for the tea party and repubs…They have been trying to rig the polls for so long…but…you can’t blame them..if they don’t cheat they can never win..especially after George W Bush’s leadership to global recession…

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