Judge bars enforcement of Pennsylvania voter ID law in Nov. 5 election

Judge bars enforcement of Pa. voter ID law in Nov. election

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A state judge has barred enforcement of Pennsylvania's strict voter-identification law in the Nov. 5 general election.

Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley also barred the state from requiring local elections officials to verbally tell voters at the polls that photo IDs could be required in future elections, but he said officials can distribute written material about the law.

McGinley's ruling marks the third consecutive election in which enforcement of the law has been blocked by court order.

The constitutionality of the law is being challenged and was the subject of a 12-day trial before McGinley that ended earlier this month.

During that trial, Patricia Norton, 73, of Berks County, testified that she gave up trying to get a free photo ID prior to last year's presidential election because of her chronic back pain and the red tape she encountered at a PennDOT office.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said the mandatory photo ID requirement is an obstacle that could prevent such voters from exercising their constitutional right to vote.

State officials said they can accommodate any eligible voter who needs an ID.

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