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Pennsylvania Voter-ID Trial May Be Held Next Summer, Judge Says

A trial over the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s voter-identification law will probably be held next summer, a judge said.

A trial may be set for July with a decision by mid-August, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson said today during a case conference in Harrisburg, the state capital. That would set the stage for the case to continue until the November election with an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Simpson in October barred enforcement of the law for the presidential election, ruling that while election officials could request an ID, voters without them could still cast ballots that would be counted.

Pennsylvania is one of nine states that passed laws requiring each voter to show a state-issued ID before casting a ballot. Seventeen states enacted statutes requiring voters to present some kind of photo ID. Just two states had voter-ID laws before 2008.

Simpson said he will rule later on whether to extend the injunction against enforcement of the law for the May election.

The case is Applewhite v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 330-md-2012, Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg).

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