The suspension of the voter ID law, one of the nation’s strictest, could benefit President Obama. Democrats, civil rights groups and advocates for the poor argue that the growing number of voter ID laws targets people least likely to have photo IDs or to be able to afford any and most likely to back Obama.
Backers of the laws say they are necessary to prevent voter identity fraud.
In his ruling, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson blocked Pennsylvania’s measure until 2013, saying he was not confident that the state would be able to provide IDs to everyone who needed them before the November election.
Earlier this year, Simpson refused to block the law. Opponents appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which directed that the law had to be blocked unless it was clear no one would be disenfranchised.
NAACP president and CEO Ben Jealous said Simpson’s ruling was a victory. He cited June comments by House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, a Republican, that the voter ID law would help Mitt Romney get elected president.
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