Harrisburg, August 15, 2012 – State Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) issued the following statement in reaction to Commonwealth Court’s refusal to grant an injunction to halt the implementation of the voter ID law.
The case is expected to be appealed to the state Supreme Court. Senate Democrats filed an amicus brief in support of granting a preliminary injunction.
Testimony presented in court indicated that as many as three-quarters of a million Pennsylvanians may not have PennDot or other government issued photo IDs. Experts who studied the law said that as many as 14 percent of eligible voters may not possess photo ID.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
During Senate consideration, Republicans turned aside numerous Democratic amendments aimed at problems identified in the legislation. The amendments would have exempted seniors, students and others who would face obstacles to voting.
Sen. Costa statement on the court’s ruling is as follows:
“The decision of the court is highly disturbing and disconcerting. Without question, the goal of the voter ID law was to disenfranchise voters and suppress voting so that Republicans could gain the upper hand in this fall’s presidential election.
“This law was never about preventing voter fraud. The state’s attorneys stipulated that there was no evidence of fraud and witness after witness presented details about the obstacles that they face in trying to comply with the law.
“Taking away a citizen’s right to vote and participate in a democracy is a serious matter. No one who is eligible to vote should be prevented from casting their ballot.
“The right to vote deserves to be protected and participation should be secured not shredded. That is why I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will step in and restore a person’s right to vote by overturning the ruling of Commonwealth Court.”