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NAACP Praises Pennsylvania Governor’s Decision

WI Web Staff | 5/11/2014, 9:10 p.m.
Pennsylvania had required government-issued identification to vote in all of the state's elections. (Courtesy photo)

Jotaka Eaddy, director of the NAACP Voting Rights Initiative, is elated over a recent court decision that prevents an appeal of Pennsylvania’s strict voter identification law.

In making the announcement on May 8, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) said the state would not appeal a judge's decision that the law violated the fundamental right to vote.

While Eaddy said that Corbett's actions mark "a significant victory for Pennsylvania's voters and our democracy,” the governor said in a statement that "the court also made clear that in order for a voter identification law to be found constitutional, changes must be made to address accessibility to photo identifications."

Prior to the ruling, which was handed down by the state’s Supreme Court, Pennsylvania required government-issued identification to vote in all of the state's elections.

The NAACP joined organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union in suing to have the law declared unconstitutional because it would discriminate against people of color, seniors, young people and those with disabilities.

"Reports show that hundreds of thousands of registered and eligible Pennsylvania voters do not have an acceptable ID," Eaddy said. "Proponents of the law indicated that the law is intended to prevent voter fraud, but acknowledged that the voter fraud prevented by the new requirement, has not occurred in the state in recent history and are unlikely to occur even without the ID requirement."