Since Wednesday morning's release of Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson's , national opinion has mostly split down party lines.
If you are a Republican, you likely think that the law is necessary to prevent voter fraud and ensure a fair and honest election in November. As a Democrat, you probably agree with your party members that the .
What's your side?
The arguments were echoed on a local level as Bucks County political party members gave their two cents while greeting supporters at the Grange Fair in Wrightstown:
"I know there is going to be a lot of disenfranchised dead people and illegal aliens," said Anthony Sposato, a member of the Neshaminy School Board and a Republican candidate seeking to replace Democrat Tina Davis as the state representative for Pennsylvania's 141st district, which covers Bristol and parts of Middletown. "Seventy-five percent of Americans want this law. It should have been in place a long time ago."
Cornel Spiegler, a volunteer manning the Bucks County Republican Committee tent, felt it was hypocritical of the Democrats to fight the law, yet require photo identification to attend the party's national convention in Charlotte, N.C., in early September.
"You cannot do anything these days without a photo ID," said Spiegler. "The state is offering free IDs, and they are very easy to get."
Just yards away, at the Bucks County Democratic Committee tent, it is clear that sentiments are quite different. Earl Bruck, vice chairperson of the Bristol Township Democratic Committee, said that not every aspect of the law has become common knowledge.
"Everybody says that college photo IDs are acceptable, but that's not completely true," said Bruck. "The law states that the cards also need a current expiration date. If there is no date on the card, it won't be accepted at the polls."
Another example, Bruck said, is the offer of free, non-driver photo ID's from PennDOT. The cards actually cost $13.50, said Bruck, and they are only free if the applicant provides an affidavit stating the use of the ID is for voting purposes.
Bruck is disappointed by the decision, but as the case heads for appeal at the state supreme court, he is concentrating on educating voters on the requirements of the law. released by the Pennsylvania State Department showed that more than 25,000 Bucks County registered voters did not have PennDOT-issued photo identification. However, Bruck said, even some with a photo ID may find themselves unable to vote on November 6.
"Women are at a very high risk of getting denied," said Bruck. "If they registered to vote when they were single, but their driver's license has their married name on it, they will not be able to vote. Women need to take the time now to make sure the names match."
It's a situation similar to what Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia encountered when the state department sent her a letter saying the name on . She told Patch on Monday that she did not plan on correcting, and her stance remains the same after the ruling.
"I just assumed that this silly law would be overturned," said Ellis-Marseglia. "I'm shocked that it wasn't."
Ellis-Marseglia said she will fill out a provisional ballot on Election Day if a complication arises. Registered voters without photo ID can also use absentee ballots to avoid getting turned away at the polls.
County Commissioner Rob Loughery was happy with Judge Simpson's decision and said that Bucks County officials will be working hard to get voters educated on what they need to cast a proper vote. Ellis-Marseglia said there does not seem to be much interest by the county to provide more active assistance, such as free rides to local PennDOT service centers.
"I'm glad the court saw that the law was constitutional," said Loughery. "It's our job to inform the public about what they need to do. The will do their part to help voters get the documents they need."