A judge issued an injunction Tuesday blocking Pennsylvania's controversial voter ID law from taking full effect before the upcoming presidential election.
— A judge issued an injunction Tuesday blocking Pennsylvania's controversial voter ID law from taking full effect before the upcoming presidential election.
The ruling clears the way for voters without government-issued identification to cast regular ballots on Nov. 6.
Exactly what that means in Wayne County, however, remains unclear.
"I don't know yet," said Cindy Furman, director of elections in Wayne County.
Furman said on Tuesday afternoon she had only received a copy of the court order from state officials but has yet to get any direction.
"When I get something, I will pass it along," she said.
She said it will be up to state election officials to notify county officials if there are any changes which have to be made for the election.
Furhman said everything now is in a state of flux, noting she can't even notify poll workers until she gets official word from the state.
Presently, Furhman said her office is "inundated" with absentee ballot applications and that's what they are focusing on until more details come out about the voter ID laws.
In his ruling, Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. basically ruled that the general election would be like the last primary election. In that election, it was a "soft rollout" of the law but no government-issued voter identification was required.
The case had been sent back to Simpson by the state's Supreme Court. He had to determine if the measures taken so far by the state to provide voter identification were adequate.
He said they were not.
Simpson, who basically upheld the premise of the law, postponed its implementation into the future.
One of the key factors in the new law was that if someone didn't have government-issued identification, they would have to use a provisional ballot. That ballot could then be challenged.
With Tuesday's ruling, voters will be given regular ballots on election day.
During the primary, the law, Act 18, permitted voters without identification to cast regular ballots.
"The injunction will have the effect of extending the express transition provisions of Act. 18 through the general election," Simpson wrote in his decision.
Proponents of the law blasted the ruling, including its sponsor, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, who called it judicial activism.
"Justice Simpson's final decision is out of bounds with the rule of the law, constitutional checks and balances for individual branches of state government, and most importantly, the will of the people," he said.
Butler said the ruling was "skewed in favor of the lazy who refuse to exercise the necessary work ethic to meet the commonsense requirements to obtain an acceptable voter ID."
But opponents of the law said the ruling is a victory for democracy.
"It appears to be a clear victory for the right to vote and an example of a judge and the Supreme Court fulfilling the courts' historic role of protecting people's right to vote and resisting the attempt by a temporary majority to disenfranchise the minority," said Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery.