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Pa. judge won't halt state's voter identification law

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 30 2012 03:24:02 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 16 2012 04:58:07 AM CDT

Get your ID ready at the polls in November.

Get your ID ready at the polls in November.

Before you step into the election booth to cast your ballot on November 6, you will have to open up your wallet to show ID in Pennsylvania.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson upheld the hotly-debated Republican backed law Wednesday.

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett signed the law in March after every single Democratic lawmaker voted against it. Democrats said it will suppress votes among President Barack Obama's supporters. Republicans defended the law, and said its intended purpose is to prevent election fraud.

"It's just a good idea. We should know who is doing the voting," said Laura Flaherty, who plans to vote in November.

"I think it's bad because it's too much of a hassle, You can lose the stuff, you know what I mean," said Michael Figard, who thinks the law will hinder senior citizens.

Berks County Election Services is preparing for November after the judge did not grant an injunction to halt the law. As long as voters are informed, they said it shouldn't be a problem.

"In preparation with not only the photo ID, but the presidential race, we'll put extra machines out in our larger precincts," said Deborah Olivieri, director of elections in Berks County.

There will be 198 polling locations throughout the county in November.

"I don't believe the ID bill will stop people from coming out to vote," said Olivieri.

Democrats have argued otherwise. They said the law will make it harder for the elderly, minorities, the poor and college students to vote.

"Well, they could take the bus. It's only $3," said Edmund Putz, a senior citizen who is in the process of getting an ID.

The new law will also affect voters using an absentee ballot. They will be required to provide their driver's license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number.

Opponents of the bill said they plan to appeal.