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Pennsylvania judge blocks controversial voter ID law

But the court is still allowing officials to ask voters to show their ID this November – even though those who don't have one will still be allowed to vote.


Signs telling of the requirement for voters to show an acceptable photo ID to vote hang in the Penndot Drivers License Center in Butler, Pa., in this photo from last month. (AP Photo/, File

Keith Srakocic/AP

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A Pennsylvania judge issued an injunction on Tuesday blocking the requirement that voters must present photo ID to have their ballots counted in the November election.

The case is being closely watched amid a raging partisan debate over voter ID laws nationwide. Republican-controlled legislatures in several states have passed such laws, citing the need to prevent election fraud and foster confidence in the election system. Democrats have opposed the efforts, accusing Republicans of trying to disenfranchise poor and elderly voters who may lack the funds, mobility, and time needed to obtain an accepted form of photo identification prior to the election.

The ruling was seen as a victory for Democrats, who say the poor and elderly are more likely to vote for President Obama.

Although the US Supreme Court upheld a similar photo ID law in Indiana in 2008, lower-court rulings have been mixed. Similar laws have been blocked in Missouri, Wisconsin, and Texas, while they have been upheld in Georgia and New Hampshire. South Carolina’s law is currently under review in federal court.


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