Commonwealth Court schedules more hearings on Voter ID

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. has scheduled a hearing for next Tuesday, Sept. 25, in Harrisburg, to deal with the state’s implementation of the new voter-ID law and ultimately decide whether the law will stay in place for the November election.

The state Supreme Court sent the case back to Simpson this week, ordering him to evaluate the state’s efforts to provide photo ID cards to registered voters who need them and issue an opinion by October 2 on whether the state is providing the "liberal access" to ID cards that the legislature intended.

Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. of Commonwealth Court.

The Supreme Court said that Commonwealth Court was obligated to issue a preliminary injunction to block the law if it is not "convinced in its predictive judgment that there will be no voter disenfranchisement" from the new law.

It requires every voter to provide a specified form of photo ID - most commonly, a Pennsylvania driver’s license - in order to cast a vote on voting machines.  Those without the necessary ID would be allowed to cast provisional ballots, which would be counted if the voters can show appropriate ID to their county election officials within the following six days.

Simpson plans to hear from parties in the case at 10 a.m. next Tuesday and continue the proceedings Thursday, if necessary, according to one participant. There will be no court session on Wednesday because of Yom Kippur.