The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

October 2, 2012

Judge halts Pennsylvania's Voter ID law

(Continued)

HARRISBURG, PA. —

Pennsylvania, traditionally considered a presidential battleground state, is showing a persistent lead for Obama in independent polls. Pollsters had said Pennsylvania's identification requirement could mean that fewer people ended up voting and, in the past, lower turnouts have benefited Republicans in Pennsylvania.

But Democrats have used their opposition to the law as a rallying cry, turning it into a valuable tool to motivate volunteers and campaign contributions while other opponents of the law, including labor unions, good government groups, the NAACP, AARP and the League of Women Voters, hold voter education drives and protest rallies.

The law was a signature accomplishment of Corbett and Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Legislature. Republicans, long suspicious of ballot-box stuffing in the Democratic bastion of Philadelphia, justified it as a bulwark against any potential election fraud.

Every Democratic lawmaker voted against it. Some accused Republicans of using old-fashioned Jim Crow tactics to steal the White House from Obama. Other opponents said it would make it harder for young adults, minorities, the elderly, poor and disabled to vote.

A wave of state voter identification requirements have been approved in the past couple years, primarily by Republican-controlled Legislatures.

Earlier this year, a federal court panel struck down Texas' voter ID law, and a state court in Wisconsin has blocked its voter ID laws for now. The Justice Department cleared New Hampshire's voter ID law, and a federal court is reviewing South Carolina's law.

___

Associated Press writer Peter Jackson contributed to this story.

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