A Pennsylvania judge on Jan. 17 struck down the state’s voter ID law, which was signed in early 2012 and is one of the strictest in the nation, ruling that the statute “unreasonably burdens the right to vote.”

“Voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election; the Voter ID Law does not further this goal,” Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley wrote. Pennsylvania’s law requires all voters to bring to the polls identification issued by the state government or the U.S. government, or another valid credential such as a student ID with an expiration date, in order to cast their vote. If a would-be voter does not have an appropriate ID, that person can cast a provisional ballot and the vote will be counted if an adequate ID is brought to the local elections office within six days.

The state’s Republican-led Legislature passed the law in spring 2012, saying it would help prevent voter fraud, and GOP Gov. Tom Corbett signed it shortly thereafter.

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