Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes gets a lot of attention from both candidates for the president office. The state has observed a struggle between supporters and opponents of voter id legislation passed earlier in the year.
The highly partisan legislation was first appealed in the court by the Democrats and citizen liberty activists. First ruling by the judge back in the summer was to sustain the law but on October the 2nd ruling was not to enforce the regulation during upcoming presidential election as the progress of supplying id cards to those who lack them was considered insufficient.
Worth to note here that PennDOT has gone an extra mile and started to issue a custom id card, designed just for voting. It carried relaxed set of application requirements where it comes to supporting documents and was issued free of charge.
Interestingly the the Pennsylvania Department of State spent $5 million for an advertising campaign on the new law which wasn’t stopped even after the judge verdict. The campaign showed and ID card and the words ‘show it’ in large font while much smaller fonts said that photo ID is not mandatory for voting. The action picked up a lot criticism from civil rights unions.
One of the electric supply company also inserted a flyer with a bill sent to the customers advising on the new legislation.
Many of these alert effort might have been taken without any political bias yet only added to the confusion. It’s hard to blame someone for making people aware of the law but changing a law knowing it’s controversial and will spark court appeals less than a year ahead of major election is something that might be worth another thought.