Democratic official in Pennsylvania says he won't enforce voter ID law

Published July 30, 2012


A Democratic election official in Pennsylvania says he won’t enforce a new voter ID law, ahead of a state court ruling and Justice Department findings on the issue.

Delaware County elections inspector Christopher L. Broach told The Philadelphia Inquirer on Thursday he would not ask voters to show photo identification at polls in November.

“To ask me to enforce something that violates civil rights is ludicrous and absolutely something I  am not willing to do,” Broach, an Internet technology consultant, told the newspaper.

He also said the law, signed this spring by GOP Gov. Tom Corbett, was a “wholly unethical decision that violates civil rights for the sake of Mitt Romney.”

Democrats in Pennsylvania and other states argue in part that such laws unfairly target minorities, who largely vote for Democratic candidates, because they are more likely to have have neither the means nor the money to get the requisite paperwork for a government-issued ID.

The Supreme Court in 2008 upheld a similar voter ID law in Indiana.

A Pennsylvania court is now hearing a case regarding the new state law, including a request to stop it from being implemented before November. And the Justice Department last week notified Pennsylvania officials that it is investigating whether the ID law complies with the Voting Rights Act and other federal laws.

The department also has opposed similar laws in Texas and South Carolina. A panel of federal judges has already heard the Texas case and is expected to announce a ruling next month. The South Carolina case is reportedly scheduled to begin in September.

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