Here are some local reactions to Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard L. McGinley’s decision to strike down Pennsylvania’s voter identification law, which passed in 2012.
Sandra Thompson, president of the York NAACP
“Hallelujah,” said Thompson, a longtime critic of the law.
She called the court decision “a long time coming.”
She said the state failed to establish that there was any need for the law.
“There were zero cases of such identity theft,” Thompson said. “No one goes into the polling place acting like they’re someone else.”
She said there were many groups of people who would have been at risk of not being able to vote.
Bob Kefauver, chairman of the Democratic Party of York County
He said the law put “unreasonable burdens upon the right to vote” and it “addressed a type of voter fraud that simply does not exist in Pennsylvania or any other state in the nation.”
State Rep. Will Tallman, R-Reading Township, Adams County
He co-sponsored the original legislation. He said he was disappointed with the ruling.
“You cannot do anything without having an ID, including getting welfare,” Tallman said.
He said the same requirement should exist for voting.
“I don’t think we’re disenfranchising anyone,” he said.
State Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township
“I think it’s an embarrassment to the Pennsylvania judiciary that Judge McGinley ruled that way,” said Saylor, another co-sponsor of the original legislation.
He said Pennsylvania modeled its law after one in Indiana, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. He said McGinley made a “political decision.”
– By Ed Mahon