Controversial voter ID law upheld in Pennsylvania

Signed into law in March by Gov. Tom Corbett (R) after failing to receive a single Democratic vote in the GOP-controlled legislature, the law requires voters to present a valid photo ID before voting. Democrats and civil-rights groups have opposed it, arguing that the law is motivated by partisanship and would disenfranchise minorities and the elderly, who they maintain often do not possess one of the accepted forms of photo ID. 

Republicans have countered by contending that the law is designed to prevent voter fraud and protects the one-person, one-vote principle.

Republican Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele repeated the defense in a statement released today, announcing her pleasure with the decision.

“By giving us a reliable way to verify the identity of each voter, the voter ID law will enhance confidence in our elections,” Aichele said.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka blasted the decision.

“These laws are being pushed for partisan reasons to disenfranchise particular groups of voters.  They are cynical and wrong, and they undermine our democracy,” he said in a statement.

The law is likely to be appealed to Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, which is currently split between three Republicans and three Democrats.

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