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(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released a statement reacting to the ruling of Judge Robert Simpson of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court preserving Pennsylvania House Bill 934, a new law which requires voters to produce a Pennsylvania driver’s license or another government-issued photo ID, such as a U.S. passport, military ID, or county/municipal employee ID when voting.
“This ruling supports a commonsense law that safeguards legitimately cast votes from nullification by fraudulently cast votes,” said Pennsylvania State Representative Daryl Metcalfe. “Implementation of HB 934 will restore integrity to Pennsylvania’s election process, because one fraudulently cast vote is one too many.”
“It was rewarding to see that the Court’s decision incorporated much of the argument provided by Judicial Watch’s amicus brief. This voter ID law will increase confidence in the integrity of our elections. Be assured that we are prepared to defend this law before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court if need be,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
On July 17, 2012, Judicial Watch filed an amicus curiae brief with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. on behalf of Pennsylvania Rep. Daryl Metcalf and 49 members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives who supported the bill. Rep. Metcalf was the author of and driving force behind the bill. Nearly half of the members who supported the bill are signed on to the Judicial Watch amicus. (Judicial Watch jointly filed its brief with Pennsylvania attorney L. Theodore Hoppe Jr.)
According to Judicial Watch’s amicus curiae brief:
In passing HB 934, the legislature did no more than exercise its sound discretion and create a commonsense regulatory scheme to secure free and equal elections. The legislature undoubtedly had such authority and used it accordingly.
In addition, because the legislature has the discretion to enact laws regulating elections, the courts must not overturn the policy choices of the legislative branch unless the legislature acts with gross abuse…In using its authority [the legislature] has not caused anyone to be disenfranchised, it has maintained and promoted free and equal elections, and it has not expanded upon the qualifications set forth in the Pennsylvania Constitution.
Judicial Watch has been involved in supporting the Pennsylvania Voter ID law for some time. JW Attorney Michael Bekesha testified on March 21, 2011, before the State Government Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, that the bill was a good way for Pennsylvania “to ensure fair elections for its citizens.”
The law requires the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to provide valid identification at no cost. The law further allows an individual without identification to cast a “provisional” ballot that will be counted if the identity of the voter can be indisputably ascertained within six business days of the election.
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