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Judge Upholds Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson on Wednesday morning released his decision that parties challenging the Voter ID law were not able to prove that it will cause 'immediate and irreparable harm' to the electorate.

Pennsylvania's new will stand ... for now.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson on Wednesday morning released his decision, saying that parties challenging the voter ID law were not able to prove it will cause "immediate and irreparable harm" to the electorate.

were brought by voter advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The groups suing to overturn the law immediately vowed to appeal the judgment.

Pennsylvania passed a law in March requiring all registered voters to show a valid and "acceptable" photo ID before voting. That means that every voter in , and  will need valid photo ID when they arrive at the polls.

Opponents of the law say that it disproportionately targets the elderly as well as the poor and minorities, who typically vote Democratic. Furthermore, critics say that the burden of obtaining an acceptable ID for these people would keep them from voting.

However, Judge Simpson decided that the state has surpassed its requirements to offer photo identification to those who need it and granted voters the ability to cast provisional ballots and prove their identity within six days. He also noted that some of those who testified for the plaintiffs would likely need to use absentee ballots to vote.

"(The plaintiffs) did an excellent job of 'putting a face' to those burdened by the voter ID requirement," Simpson wrote in his decision. "At the end of the day, however, I do not have the luxury of deciding this issue based on my sympathy for the witnesses or my esteem for counsel."

Thirty states have some sort of voter ID law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and of those, 19 do not require a photo, six do, and five, including Pennsylvania, have strict photo requirements.

In June, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald joined county Controller Chelsa Wagner in challenging the law. Wagner, a Democrat, has endorsed efforts in the courts to keep the law from taking effect before November's general elections, and .

Controversy over the law flared in June when state Democrats criticized a comment from State House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Bradford Woods Borough) about the newly enacted law.

Turzai's comment, , was among several items that he said had been accomplished on the Republican agenda. In the video, he says: "Voter ID, which is going to allow Gov. (Mitt) Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done."

Click here to read the full court opinion.

Do you agree or disagree with the judge's decision? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

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cc August 19, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Pennsylvania Driver Centers Hours are: MONDAY- CLOSES TUESDAY - 8:30 AM TO 4:15 PM WEDNESDAY - 8:30 AM TO 4:15 PM THURSDAY - 8:30 AM TO 6:00 PM FRIDAY - 8:30 AM TO 4:15 PM SATURDAY - 8:30 AM TO 4:15 PM
cc August 19, 2012 at 02:29 AM
No Brutus I didn't miss the point at all, ml doesn't want republicans to vote for Romney, she wants obama to win the election. People have had over 8 months to get photo id and if they didn't do it then they can't blame anyone but themselves. Brutus must be married to ml
cc August 19, 2012 at 04:39 PM
PA Drivers License Center in Bridgeville, Washington Pa and Downtown Pittsburgh that is ran by DOT. Hours of operation are as followed: MONDAY- CLOSES TUESDAY - 8:30 AM TO 4:15 PM WEDNESDAY - 8:30 AM TO 4:15 PM THURSDAY - 8:30 AM TO 6:00 PM FRIDAY - 8:30 AM TO 4:15 PM SATURDAY - 8:30 AM TO 4:15 PM Duncan Manor Shopping Center 1701 Duncan Avenue Allison Park, PA 15101 Chartiers Valley Shopping Ctr. 1025 Washington Pike Rt 50 Bridgeville, PA 15017 Penn Hills Shopping Center 11620 Keleket Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15235 Downtown Pittsburgh 708 Smithfield Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222
cc August 19, 2012 at 04:44 PM
PennDOT Photo & Exam Center 250 Oak Spring Road Oak Spring Center Washington, PA 15301 Point Plaza Shopping Center Route 356 and 68 Butler, PA 16001 960 Rostraver Road Tri-County Plaza Belle Vernon, PA 15012 1600 Greensburg Road New Kensington, PA 15068 770 East Pittsburgh Street The Davis Center Greensburg, PA 15601 149 Stewart Ave East Rochester, PA 15074 North Gallatin Avenue Ext 855 N Gallatin Ave Uniontown, PA 15401 Highlands Office Complex Rt. 422, Butler Road West Kittanning, PA 16201
cc August 19, 2012 at 04:53 PM
ml do you even know what a PA Dot Drivers License Center is??? It is where you take your drivers test at, apply for a permit, get a Photo ID (right on the spot), get a replacement license there (right on the spot). AAA only does the cards if you have one and cannot get a drivers license on the sport. You have the answers for everything but are so wrong. Wishing Republicans would lose their licence is so banish but coming from you doesn't surprise me at all. I wasn't the one that put you on facebook either but some on here were quoting you and got a big kick out of it. You the expert on nothing but stealing others words and posting them as your own. Matt sure had you pegged correctly and to bad the Patch took down his comments.

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