Judge Strikes Down Pa. Voter ID Law
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Last year, KDKA caught up 82-year-old Minnie Walker of Manchester. She had voted in every presidential election since she cast her ballot for John F. Kennedy in 1960.
Since she didn’t drive and didn’t have a license, she had to go at the PennDOT license center to get an identification card.
“I’ve always voted and I don’t know why I have to come down and do all this,” she said. “I don’t get around like I used to.”
On Friday, a state judge ruled that that was an unreasonable burden on people like Minnie and struck down the state’s voter ID law.
“Today’s decision was a resounding victory,” said Vic Walczak, of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Walczak, who was one of the lead attorneys on the case, says the law put a needless burden on the poor, the elderly and the disabled.
“It’s a victory for all voters in Pennsylvania because what this law did was put a bunch of unnecessary red tape between the voters and the polling booth,” he said.
“It’s obvious he’s made a very partisan decision, a very activist decision,” said Rep. Darryl Metcalfe.
The original sponsor of the voter ID bill, Rep. Metcalfe, decried the judge decision, saying the voter ID protects the election process from fraud.
“I believe as most Americans do that you should be required to prove that you are who you claim to be when you exercise this very important right of deciding who is going to govern us,” said Rep. Metcalfe.
But at trial, Walczak said the state could not substantiate claims of voter fraud.
“So, why did they have a law for a problem that didn’t exist? Yhe only conclusion we could have is voter suppression,” said Walczak.