From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/us/pennsylvania-judge-delays-implementation-of-voter-id-law.html
By ETHAN BRONNER
Published: October 2, 2012
A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday blocked the key component of a highly contested state law requiring strict photographic identification to vote in next month’s election, saying the authorities had not done enough to ensure that voters had access to the new documents.
The result, that Pennsylvanians will not have to present a state-approved ID to vote in November, was the latest and most significant in a series of legal victories for those opposed to laws that they charge would limit access to polls in this presidential election. With only a month left until Election Day, disputes around the country over new voter ID requirements, early voting, provisional ballots and registration drives are looking far less significant.
“Every voter restriction that has been challenged this year has been either enjoined, blocked or weakened,” said Lawrence Norden of the Brennan Center for Justice, which is part of the New York University School of Law and opposes such restrictions. “It has been an extraordinary string of victories for those opposing these laws.”
Voter ID laws have been taken off the table in Texas and Wisconsin. The Justice Department has blocked such a law in South Carolina, which has appealed in federal court. In Florida and Ohio, early voting and voter-registration drives have been largely restored. New Hampshire is going ahead with its law, but voters who do not have the required document will be permitted to vote and have a month to verify their identity.
Strict voter ID laws remain in Kansas, Indiana, Georgia and Tennessee, but they are not seen as battleground states. And while Pennsylvania seems likely to institute a version of its law in the coming year, it will not affect this election.
The Pennsylvania judge who ruled on Tuesday, Robert Simpson of Commonwealth Court, had upheld the law in August when liberal-leaning and civil rights groups challenged it. But the state’s Supreme Court instructed him two weeks ago to hold further hearings to focus on whether enough had been done to ensure “liberal access” to the picture ID cards, which are available at driver’s license centers, or alternatives.
Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/us/pennsylvania-judge-delays-implementation-of-voter-id-law.html