PITTSTON — For two years the Pennsylvania voter ID law has been tied up in the courts. On Friday, a ruling from a commonwealth court judge said the law is unconstitutional.
Those fighting the law said it would make it tougher for the elderly, poor and disadvantaged to vote. Newswatch 16 went to a senior center in Pittston, to talk with voters about the ruling.
There’s no doubting the patriotism of most Pennsylvania senior citizens including those at the Pittston Senior Center.
A commonwealth court judge has sided with groups saying the state’s voter ID law kept some seniors from their fundamental American right, voting.
Fedora Rigle of Exeter said, “It’s a problem for older people because so many of us are in the same boat.”
Rigle is glad the judge shot down the ID law.
She doesn’t have a driver’s license, and her passport expired.
When it looked like photo IDs would be required at the polls, she had to find a way to get one.
Rigle said, “And we don’t drive, naturally and if we don’t have family nearby you have to depend on friends, and it’s difficult it really is.”
Anna Mae Roccogrande used to work the polls. She thinks the IDs were unnecessary.
Anna Mae Roccogrande said, “We check signatures and you can’t forge a signature. I think it’s okay the way it is now.”
The ACLU said this ruling is a victory for the elderly, for the poor, for those who may have trouble getting an ID, but not all those here agree.
Martina Willson of Pittston said, “I think people should be required to show some kind of identification when they’re registering for anything. Even in the banks if you’re going to cash a check, any place at all.”
Some seniors said making sure the right person is voting is important and not too big of a hassle.
George Parrish of Kingston Township said, “Anybody can get an ID if they’re honest and they’re legal and they can get an ID. There’s no such thing as not getting an ID.”
But the judge said the voter ID law poses a threat to hundreds of thousands of voters.
Despite his ruling, some doubt this fight is over.
Willson said, “It’s an ongoing issue for a long time, and I think it will be in debate for a long time too. ”
The general counsel to Governor Corbett said attorneys are now reviewing the judge’s ruling Friday morning to determine what the next step will be.
The law could be appealed to the state supreme court.