In July the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced that it would investigate Pennsylvania's voter ID law [JURIST report]. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania [advocacy website] challenged the law [petition for review, PDF; JURIST report] in May, asking a court to block enforcement of the law in the upcoming November elections. The group claims that the new law violates the Pennsylvania Constitution [text] and will prevent eligible voters from casting their votes. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett [official website] signed the bill into law [JURIST report] in March. It was passed earlier that week in the House of Representatives by a vote of 104-88. Supporters of the proposed legislation said that it will combat voter fraud. Unlike the current trend of voter ID laws, Pennsylvania's allows voters to vote without an ID as long as they verify their identity within six days of voting. Absentee ballots will also only require identification by Social Security number. There are now 32 US states [NCSL backgrounder] that require voters to present some form of ID at the polls, but the issue remains controversial.
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