UPDATE 2:55 p.m.: "It’s disappointing, mostly for the hundreds of thousands of people who will be disenfranchised," said Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware).
Leach said that, historically, the courts have ruled to prevent temporary majorities from limiting others' right to vote.
"I believe the [state] Supreme Court—or I’m hopeful it will—will take up its traditional role and not disenfranchise voters for partisan reasons," he added.
UPDATE 2:15 p.m.: “I think that the court obviously ruled on the side of common sense,” said Lance Rogers, chairman of the Republican Committee of Lower Merion and Narberth.
Rogers noted the law was implemented months ago and said there are still almost three months to take steps to make sure no one is denied the right to vote.
“The one thing I think that people have lost sight of is that this legislation is designed to protect the sanctity of one person, one vote,” Rogers said. “And all those people out there who are talking about how this is somehow designed to preclude others from voting have lost sight of the fact that a broken system means we all lose out and that all our votes are for naught.”
UPDATE 12:05 p.m.: State Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery) issued the following statement: “I am of course disappointed in today’s ruling. There is no doubt it will deny hundreds of thousands of eligible Pennsylvania voters their constitutional right to vote. The ruling is not only a tragedy for those whose rights will be denied under the law, it is a slap to the fundamental, constitutional rights of all Pennsylvanians, all American citizens. I continue to hope and believe the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will right this wrong and see, as the nation has so clearly witnessed, that this law was contrived for no other reason than partisan gamesmanship at the expense of our constitution, our state and its citizens.”
UPDATE 12 p.m.: "I think One-Term Corbett will come to regret this," said Mark Taylor, chairman of the Democratic committee of Lower Merion and Narberth.
In a phone conversation with Patch, Taylor called the law and the court decision today "an affront to every citizen in the commonwealth. ... I think the Republican legislature and governor, despite wrapping themselves in the phraseoolgy of American democracy and values, have engaged in direct conduct to infringe upon them."
He said appeals are likely, but in the meantime, local Democrats "will make every effort to educate as many voters as possible about the law, about whether they are potentially going to have a problem with their ID, and we’re going to to do everyting we can to overcome the hurdles that have been set up. Despite my disagreement with it, it is the law at this time."
Taylor said he believes the law disproportionately disenfranchises women as well as seniors, when maiden names and hyphenated last names do not match the voter rolls.
UPDATE 11:40 a.m.: A spokesman for Rep. Mike Gerber (D-Montgomery) issued the following statement: "Rep. Gerber is disappointed with the court’s decision but will continue to work vigorously to ensure his constituents have all the resources needed to comply with the law and to vote in November."
UPDATE 11:25 a.m.: About 25 of the 175 clients of ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth don’t have identification acceptable under the new law, said staff member Emily Waldron.
“Our clients are annoyed because a lot of them are disabled and voting for them is already difficult,” Waldron said. “So adding this other component, it’s frustrating, and for our volunteers it’s frustrating.”
ElderNet has trained 30 volunteers this week on how to help clients get additional identification, helping them assemble their personal paperwork for applications and driving them to Norristown to pick up the IDs.
“We’re going to get them IDs regardless of whether the law passes or not, but it’s a shame they didn’t overturn it,” Waldron said.
UPDATE 11:05 a.m.: A Lower Merion spokesman said they would have no comment on this morning's ruling. Leaders of the local Republican and Democratic committees have not been reached for comment.
UPDATE 10:40 a.m.: The NAACP vowed to appeal the ruling. National president Benjamin Todd Jealous issued a statement saying, ""This law, like other state laws enacted across the U.S., has the potential to suppress thousands of votes in the Commonwealth during this election. The NAACP, in conjunction with its state conferences, will continue to combat these efforts on the ground and mobilize voters. We will have to fight for our right to vote again."
UPDATE 10:30 a.m.: State GOP Chairman Rob Gleason issued a statement saying, in part, "I am pleased that the Commonwealth Court recognized this law for what it is – commonsense reform to ensure that every voter and every vote is protected."
The Commonwealth Court ruled Wednesday morning not to stop Pennsylvania's controversial from going into effect.
., will not grant an injunction that would have halted the law requiring each voter to show a valid photo ID.
Opponents are expected to file an appeal within a day or two to the state Supreme Court as the Nov. 6 presidential election fast approaches, according to the Associated Press.
The challenge to the law was brought by voter advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP.
Pennsylvania passed a law in March requiring all registered voters to show a before voting. This is one of the strictest voter ID laws in the nation.
Opponents of the law say it disproportionately targets the elderly as well as the poor and minorities, who typically vote Democrat. Furthermore, critics say that the burden of obtaining an acceptable ID for these people would keep them from voting. They add that preventing voter fraud (the supposed purpose of the law) is not a serious concern.
Thirty states have some sort of Voter ID law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, of those, 19 do not require a photo, six require a photo and five, including Pennsylvania, have strict photo requirements.